• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Versailles couple to compete in strongman championships

Versailles residents Anthony and Emily Pernice are strongman competitors who have spent the last year training and competing for a spot in the world championships, the pinnacle of their sport. The Amateur Strongman World Championships will be held the first weekend of March 2019, in Columbus, Ohio as part of the 31st Arnold Sports Festival and Expo hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The couple and their central Kentucky team will join a field of 175 competitors representing 26 different countries. Emily began strongman training in 2015 after losing 85 pounds to find a healthier lifestyle. The extreme sport of strongman provided the support and accountability Emily needed to continue her vigorous passage. Her many years of dedication to this challenging sport has helped give courage to her son, Jackson, in his own struggles with a rare genetic mutation that affects his muscular development. She secured her Arnold bid by winning first place in the 181-pound weight class at the Lexington based Beast of the Bluegrass Competition in April 2018. This will be Emily’s second round in this competition, having competed at the Arnold Classic in 2017 placing 9th in the world in her weight class. Anthony is a lifelong Versailles resident who played basketball for Woodford County High School and Trasylvania University. He transitioned to strongman from competitive powerlifting in 2016.

He found not only a sport but also a wife. To Anthony, the sport of Strongman represents an ever evolving set of challenges. There is always a heavier weight, a bigger atlas stone, or an event he has never seen before. Plus, getting to share this journey with his wife has been an amazing experience. He secured his Arnold bid by winning first place in the 265-pound weight class at the Lexington based Beast of the Bluegrass Competition in April 2018.

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