BY BILL PHILLIPS
How do you make a big strong guy get emotional?
Turns out it’s pretty easy.
All you have to do is show him that you’ve got his back. That’s exactly what happened when 19-time provincial armwrestling champion Dan Gallo dropped by his sponsor, Brink Group of Companies, Tuesday to show off his new medals.
John Brink, of the Brink Group, surprised Gallo with a further $1,000 in sponsorship money for Gallo’s trip to the national championships in Laval, Quebec in July. The completely unexpected gesture got Gallo a little choked up.
“It means a lot,” Gallo said to Brink. “I’ll keep doing my best and hopefully I can make you proud again.”
Gallo competed in two weight classes, winning in the classes and taking the overall left hand title. The win qualifies him for the trip to the nationals.
Gallo said he accomplished what he wanted to do at the provincials, but he wasn’t completely happy with his performance.
“I went back and watched the videos and I was a little disappointed on how I pulled,” he said. “But, to still be able to come out on top was nice. It wasn’t a ‘gimmee,’ it was definitely a fight. There were a lot of tough competitors there. It was a fight every inch of the way.”
He credited his training partners, Jacob Lee and Ben Skorepa, for being “instrumental” in his win. Skorepa also won the Master’s Class and Lee placed second behind Gallo in the 175-pound class. Prince George armwrestlers Glen Schlivinsky and Brian Gabriel won in the Super Heavyweight class.
“The next step is to get geared up for nationals,” Gallo said. “Nationals is never a ‘gimmee,’ everyone is there because they put the time in. Everyone there wants to win. It who puts that tiny bit more time in is who usually gets it.”
The Brink Group of Companies, which awarded Gallo a $500 sponsorship to compete at provincials, is obviously pleased he’s doing well.
“We’re very proud of Dan because he won the B.C. championships, both left and right, and even the heavyweights,” said Brink. “He put it all together this weekend, for sure.”
Gallo is one of 10 athletes the Brink Group of Companies sponsor throughout the year. The Brink Group looks for athletes who are excelling in their sport and who not be well known in the community.
“He’s an example to a lot of people that whatever you want to do, you can do it,” Brink said. “It takes commitment. To see someone like Dan, being so dedicated in his field and doing so well, is fantastic … We want to shout out to them and we want the community to know them.”
Brink said athletes like Gallo also inspire him as he trains for bodybuilding provincials in July.
“Whatever you want to pursue, is believing you can do it and then do it well,” Brink said. “All things are possible that people put their minds to. It enhances life, it makes you healthy, it gives you a goal. Then it takes passion and the fire within.”