Erica Wiebe is the 2016 Olympic champion in women's freestyle wrestling (75 kg), just the third Canadian and second Canadian woman to win Olympic gold in wrestling. Growing up in Ontario, Canada, Wiebe first became involved with the sport thanks to a poster she saw at her high school advertising co-ed, or mixed-gender, wrestling. "It was an opportunity to wear spandex and wrestle boys," she has said jokingly.
She had a taste of the Olympic Games when she was named as a training partner for Leah Callahan at London 2012. Wiebe's senior breakthrough came at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, when she won the gold medal at 75 kg – a title she defended four years later. Triumph in Rio in the intervening years also added her name to Canadian wrestling history – and she left an enduring image in many people's minds when she lifted coach Paul Ragusa onto her shoulders in celebration after winning her final bout.
Wiebe has spoken about wanting to dispel stereotypes about women's wrestling and women wrestling men. "I always want to wrestle the best person in the room. Whether that’s a guy or girl, I’m just seeking out the best person," she said. "I hear all the time that 'You don’t look like a wrestler.' Wrestling is so technical and so tactical, so you don’t need to be bulky and huge."
“I want to be defined by every single day I spent in pursuit of my goals rather than the one lone day I stood on the podium."”
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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