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Minnesota Sports Memories: Wheelock Whitney

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Photo courtesy of Wheelock Whitney

“I never thought I would have a UFC heavyweight champion for a close friend. But then I met Brock Lesnar. He was my neighbor and I was riding my horse on his property. He stopped me and said that he didn’t like people riding on his trails because he was a deer hunter and he believed the horses scared the deer away. When he found out that I was a neighbor of his, he gave his okay. A week or so later, he came to my house to ask me if he could put a deer stand in my woods. I told him it was okay with two conditions:  1.) He had to use a bow and arrow, not a gun, and  2.) He had to let me beat him at arm wrestling. In this photo, taken by my wife, Kathleen, he was about to get pinned by me.

He became a hero of mine because he went on to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship and he let me beat him in arm wrestling.”

—Wheelock Whitney, Jr., Minneapolis businessman, educator, sports team executive, and philanthropist

What’s your favorite Minnesota sports memory? Share it in the comments below.

Be sure to catch “The Sports Show” and “The Sports Show: Minnesota” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, through May 13 and September 2, respectively.

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