Arrieta, Jose' Louis

John Bieter
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José Luis was born on 10 July 1940 in Bolibar, Bizkaia.  He was raised on a hilltop baserri.  Since it was difficult to find work in the Basque Country, he moved to the US in 1958 to be a sheepherder for the Highland Company, and has remained with the company ever since.  He began attending local Basque picnics and festivals almost as soon as he arrived.

José Luis soon got involved in weightlifting, even though this had not been a major activity for him in Euskadi.  He trained with friend Beni Goitiandia, and the two traveled together, demonstrating traditional Basque weightlifting to many excited crowds.  He speculates about the origins of Basque weightlifting.

Today, José Luis remains proud of his Basque heritage, even though he is taking it easy with the weights.  He enjoys traveling to his homeland whenever he gets the chance, but has been a US citizen since 1967.  As a pioneer of Basque sports in Idaho, José Luis hopes to see events like weightlifting enjoyed for many generations to come.


Audio Recording: 
Basques and Sports
Beginning of weight lifting
Young people and weight lifting
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