Meet Jeff Dabe, who some have dubbed “The Real Life Popeye.” Dabe, a 52-year-old competitive arm wrestler from Stacy, Minnesota, has 19-inch forearms and gigantic hands. Jeff is traveling the United States competing to become a world champion in armwrestling.
Born with gigantic appendages, Dabe reportedly has hands big enough to fit a basketball in each hand, reports the Daily Mail. He was given the moniker “Popeye” because his arms resemble the popular cartoon character.
Despite the Popeye nickname, Jeff’s armwrestling ability is no joke. According to the Daily Mail, Jeff Dabe originally competed as a champion using his right arm until 1986. Dabe is naturally right-handed, but he popped his right arm during a contest in 1986, injuring Jeff and causing him to stop competing. The real-life Popeye wasn’t satisfied to be out of the game, however, so when Minnesota armwrestling champ Josh Handelland visited Jeff’s town in 2012, Jeff was inspired to resume competing using his left hand.
Throughout his life, doctors have performed tests on Jeff Dabe to see if his large limbs are the result of a genetic disorder such as gigantism and elephantiasis, but the University of Minnesota determined Jeff doesn’t have a genetic disorder — he was just born this way. Photos of the real-life Popeye as an infant and toddler show that Jeff’s large limbs are natural, and they have given Dabe a huge advantage as a competitive arm wrestler, reports News.Au.Com.
According to the Daily Mail, Dabe has been a competitive arm wrestler since the 1980s and has been a competitor his whole life. He got his Popeye nickname from other schoolmates.
“I arm wrestled as a senior in high school. The fans way back then were the ones that named me ‘Popeye,'” Jeff told the Daily Mail.
After he returned to competitive armwrestling, Jeff quickly became a Minnesota state champion and was invited to compete on the World Armwrestling League (WAL) circuit. Dabe has become something of a celebrity and says that “people freak out when they see my hands in real life.”
The real-life Popeye is having a great time competing on the circuit, and “thanks to the World Armwrestling League I am now competing with people from all over America. It’s so fun to travel to places we wouldn’t normally go. I was always good… but the size of my hands did shock people at first – I had the strength to back it up,” Jeff Dabe told the Daily Mail.
[Image from YouTube]