Williston’s Strongman Wins, Weds, and Goes Viral


It was quite a whirlwind weekend for Williston’s athletic trainer Rob Kearney, whose brush with celebrity created a stir on social media. First, he emerged victorious at the Arnold (Schwarzenegger) Pro Strongman contest in Melbourne, Australia. This qualifies him for the Arnold Strongman World Championship next year. Then, he married his longtime boyfriend, Joey Aleixo, on a cliff overlooking the ocean. The wedding was a secret to nearly everyone except close friends and family, Kearney said. It was “magical,” he added.

At the awards ceremony for his win, “Arnold was presenting me with my trophy when he asked what I had planned for the rest of the trip,” Kearney said. “I announced to the crowd we would be getting married and that’s when Arnold called Joey onto the stage.”

Schwarzenegger tried to come to the wedding, Kearney said, but couldn’t because he had other duties throughout the weekend. “He did, however, treat Joey and me to a gorgeous yacht ride around the city of Melbourne as well as a wonderful dinner afterwards.”

Schwarzenegger Instagrammed the moment, captioning a photo of the three at sunset on Schwartzenegger’s yacht, “I think this is a first: winning the @arnoldsports Strongman and getting married in the same weekend. Congratulations guys. I was honored to celebrate with you.” The post had 290,000 “likes” and 2,600 comments as of March 21.

Kearney won first place by besting the competition in the log press, the atlas stones, and a 500 kg. yoke.

Yahoo NewsThe Advocate, and Outsports covered the weekend.