Oxford senior going for state steinholding title three-peat

Oxford resident Kim Planert is going for a steinholding three-peat today.

The 69-year-old UPS driver started competing in 2011 because his granddaughter urged him to try it. He now is one of the best stein-holders in the nation, and for the past two years, he has been the tops in Ohio.

The strength contest requires competitors to hold a full beer stein in front of their bodies as long as they can, trying to outlast others.

Though he started because of his granddaughter, Planert has continued because he’s won, at first, small competitions and then across the country. For the past two years, he’s finished fourth and fifth, respectively at the National Steinholding Competition.

His inspiration to keep going has evolved.

“Most of these guys are 20, 30, 40-year-old bucks, so anytime a senior citizen can beat a 30-year-old at anything, I’ll keep doing it, whether that’s steinholding, hopscotch, tiddlywinks,” Planert said. “And I’ll keep having a lot of fun with it, too.”

The state competition is held at the Liberty Home Association, the oldest German-American Club in the tri-state that operates festivals (they run an annual Oktoberfest over Labor Day). The state competition will begin at 7 p.m. with the women’s division and then 8 p.m. with the men’s division.

History could be made with the women’s division. Katja Derrickson of northeast Ohio won the women’s division 2023 Lenny Coyne Memorial champion, giving her a national title. She hopes to be the first woman or man to win a national and state title in the same calendar year.

Steinholding, which is an old German feat of strength contest, has been a formalized sport in the United States competition since 2015 when the U.S. Steinholding Association was formed, but competitively, the sport has been around since 2011.

“More and more people are hearing about it, but it’s not really a mainstream thing,” said Jim Banko in a Brewstilled podcast interview earlier this spring. Banko founded the U.S. Steinholding Association, the go-to resource for steinholding rules and competition maps.

The state championship program started in earnest in 2019, and more and more have been organized. For 2023, there are 11 state championships.

Planert said he unknowingly had been training for this type of sport most of his adult life. Prior to working for UPS, he worked as a driver for a moving company, and part of that job was to fold moving pads. While it’s a lackluster task, he had folded about 600,000 pads (weighing about 4 pounds) over the decades was 600,000 reps for steinholding.

So in his first competition, holding a stein filled with a liter of beer, which is 5 pounds, “just came so naturally to me.”

“It was so easy way in those first tournaments,” Planert said. “Going 3, 4, or 5 minutes was nothing, so I just kept going.”

His best was at the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati in Cincinnati when he had 12 minutes, and his second-best was 11 minutes at Nashville’s Oktoberfest celebration.


What: The Ohio State Steinholding Championship

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: Liberty Home Association, 2361 Hamilton-Cleves Road (Ohio 128), Ross Twp.

More info: The women’s competition starts at 7 p.m. and the men’s competition starts at 8 p.m. For more on steinholding, visit www.ussteinholding.com.

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