BY BILL PHILLIPS
Dan Gallo has something on his mind.
A world championship.
“I’ve got 15 provincial titles now, eight national titles,” says the Prince George armwrestler. “The best I’ve got at World’s is a sixth place. It’s not bad, but it’s not a title. I want a World title.”
Gallo got into the sport in high school when he won a local tournament, beating others in his class and some of his teachers. Eventually he got in touch with fellow Prince George armwrestler Vern Martel, a 13-time world champion, to help him train. Gallo simply fell in love with the sport.
“I love the training, I love the competing, I love everything about it, I love the winning,” he says with a smile. “You put in the work and when you’re in front of hundreds or thousands of people it’s an amazing experience.”
When he started in the sport he never thought it would take him down the path he’s gone, winning provincial and national titles, and competing at the world championships.
“You decide you want to do something, go do it,” he says.
And while titles are obviously nice, there are personal accomplishments along the way.
“This year I beat out Mike Barrett from Manitoba, who I’ve been trying to beat for the last eight years,” says Gallo. “He’s a multiple world champion, and over times 19 Canadian champion. I teared up after that match. Getting to beat him was a special moment.”
Gallo was one of 10 local athletes who received a $500 boost from the Brink Group of Companies this year, money that is very welcome to an athlete in a sport that is not front-and-centre on the sports pages too often.
“The $500 went towards a plane ticket,” Gallo says. “It’s nice to have someone who cares. It’s one of those sports that’s not a big thing here in Canada.”
For John Brink, of the Brink Group of Companies, the money is simply a way to help some local athletes, both financially and with some exposure.
“It’s a program that fits our view of the community and we intend to continue it,” says Brink, adding the company will support 10 athletes again in 2018.