Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

May 12, 2011

Arm-wrestling legend Cleve Dean dies at 57

VALDOSTA —  A South Georgia man known internationally as the “Arm Breaker” died Tuesday.

Cleve Dean of Pavo became an internationally known arm-wrestling champion. He won matches throughout the United States. He competed around the world.

Preliminary reports claim he died of a heart attack near Stockbridge, Ga., Tuesday. Dean was 57 years old.

Cleve Dean appeared in the 1987 Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling movie “Over the Top.” Legend claims that Stallone’s character was supposed to arm wrestle Dean at the movie’s conclusion. Producers reportedly felt no one would believe even Sylvester Stallone could defeat Cleve Dean, who stood 6-foot-6 and weighed more than 300 pounds during his championship years. Dean’s hand could eclipse an entire beer can. Stallone’s hand would have vanished in the massive vortex of Cleve Dean’s palm. So, Ox Baker was tapped as Stallone’s final competitor instead.

 

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