2013 Hall Of Fame Inductees

CAWF Hall of Fame

Kevin Kelly - Competitor

Our first inductee competed between the early '80s and early '90s.

He enjoyed early success, earning a silver medal at the first WAF world championships that he attended in Costa Rica in 1983 after just a short time in the sport.

Amrwrestling was basically a right arm only sport at the time he started in the sport, but as left hand competition started to grow during the second half of the '80s, he realized he was just as effective with either arm.

This competitor has the distinction of being the first Ontario puller to win a Canadian Armwrestling Association national title, which he did in 1983.

By the mid-80s, he was really on fire, finishing second at the 1986 Over the Top World Championships, and winning the 1987 WPAA world championships.

He only weighed about 175 lbs, but he enjoyed the challenge of pulling multiple weight classes in the same event, sometimes winning both left hand classes (175 and under and 176+).

He played a major role in establishing Team London as one of the world’s dominant armwrestling teams of the era

During his competitive career he won a handful of national and world titles, and though he stopped competing over 20 years ago, he remained involved in the sport as a master level referee for many years that followed.

CAWF Hall of Fame

Mark Zalepa - Builder

Mark has been a consistent supporter of Ontario armwrestling for over 25 years.

He’s done it all:

He’s been competing since 1986
He’s held events every year dating back to the ‘90s
He is a master level referee, and served on the OAA Executive as Ontario’s Referee-in-Chief for over a dozen years
He’s held the Provincial Championships twice and was also part of the organizing committee for the 2003 World Championships

In recent years, he has raised the profile of his events by hosting professional level supermatches and round robins, and has done more to support pro-level women’s armwrestling than anyone else in North America.

He continues to travel all over the province each year, either to compete, scorekeep, emcee, or just to show his support. His continued dedication to all aspects of the sport is unsurpassed.

CAWF Hall of Fame

Paul Cecchini - Competitor

Paul competed in the featherweight division for approximately 10 years between the early ‘80s and early ‘90s, during which span he won titles in almost every Canadian event he attended. He also travelled internationally where he also achieved a high level of success.

Some of his best achievements include:

13 National titles
3 WPAA World titles
The 1991 Super Bras-de-fer world title in France
A Petaluma World Wristwrestling Championship title

He also finished third at the Over the Top World Championships – which was the real tournament that served as the backdrop for the movie. At the time this was by far the biggest and toughest armwrestling tournament ever organized.

In the 20+ years that have passed since his retirement from the sport, no other Ontario puller under 150 lbs has been able to dominate the class the way he did.

CAWF Hall of Fame

Paul Levesque - Builder

Paul was an active competitor and promoter during the '90s in Northern Ontario.

He hosted the Nationals twice.

He even hosted both the Nationals and the Worlds in the same year (1998).

CAWF Hall of Fame

Rick Baarbe - Competitor

Rick has been competing for over 35 years.

He was the dominant heavyweight armwrestler in Ontario during the early '80s.

Obtaining a win over Rick was considered a tremendous achievement, and this was a significant milestone in the careers of several of Canada's top heavyweight armwrestlers.

He is a two time WAF World gold medalist as well as a many time national champion.

He is a master level referee and he played a major role in establishing Team London as one of the world’s dominant armwrestling teams.