Meet Karen Cooley
1. Hi Karen, how long have you been armwrestling?
I've been armwrestling now for about ten years. I started in 1990.
How did you get started?
My husband, Jerry, got me interested in the sport. We wrestled in our
first tournament together in Gaylord, Michigan. He’s been my coach the entire
3. What happened?
I won my first tournament and was hooked on the sport! It was a
great experience. I realized then that there was more to the sport than
just simply pulling someone's arm over to the pin pad. There is a lot of
technique to learn and perfect.
4. What have you done since then?
Well, basically I wrestle whenever I can. I work for Johnson &
Johnson full-time and have two children that keep me very busy. So, I take
advantage of attending tournaments whenever time allows.
titles do you hold?
I hold numerous state titles, seven
national titles, a world title (Tokyo
99) and Arnold Classic Armwrestling Challenge Champion 1999.
I lift weights on a two day
on, one day off rotation throughout the year. I have an armwrestling table
in my home that I practice on as well.
Recommendations For New Armwrestlers?
Never get discouraged, and never give up. Armwrestling is like any sport--you
have your good days and bad days. Just learn from your mistakes and work
hard to overcome them.
8. How did
you get to appear on the Regis Philbin show?
At the urging of friends/family and my sponsor, I sent some information and
pictures to the show and received a call from the producer the next week.
Tell us what it was like.
I had a blast on the show. Regis is quite a character and made me
feel very comfortable; his wife, Joy, who co-hosted that day, was very friendly.
The producers told me to have fun and not take any _ _ _ _ from him, especially
if he gave it to me. So, as the show went on, I loosened up and really
enjoyed myself. The group Lone Star
was on that day and they were really awesome. They gave us their phone
number so that we could call them for tickets to their upcoming show in
10. Are you planning any other shows?
Yes. I just taped a show for Oxygen Network (a new cable station
co-created by Oprah Winfrey) based in Hollywood, California. The show is
"I've Got A Secret." They had to guess that I was a world
champion armwrestler. There I met a number of stars
including Terri Garr and Lily Tomlin.
Tell us about your family.
I have a wonderful family! My husband, Jerry, and I have been
married for almost 15 years. We have two children: a son, Dakota (8 years
old), and a daughter, Taylor (just turned 5 years old). Both my son and daughter
play baseball, soccer and freestyle
wrestle. Taylor also dances in a jazz class and is in gymnastics.
They've won numerous medals in wrestling
and Taylor just last weekend won two national titles and a world title in the La
Femme wrestling tournament in Michigan. She was Greco-Roman and folkstyle,
and was awarded a trophy for outstanding wrestler. We were so proud.
The phrase her daddy taught her is, "I'm here to chew bubblegum and kick
butt -- and I'm all out of bubblegum!"
Our son, Dakota, will earn his
black belt in karate in May of this year. He is currently in black belt
camp and must attend class four times a week prior to earning his black belt.
He has been in karate since he was four years old and we are very proud of his
Needless to say, there's not much
"free time" for mom and dad, but we enjoy sharing in our children's
Tell us about your sponsor.
I am working with Smokey Mountain
Inc. in Connecticut who sponsor
the NFL tournament/Pro tournament
for armwrestling in Las Vegas each year. I attend events with the company
and their spokesperson, Randy White.
I recently signed with Addict
Active Wear in Columbus, OH and Max
Muscle in Anaheim, CA.
Karen and great job on the Regis Philbin show!