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Newsmaker: Gold medalist Erica Wiebe

Before striking gold, wrestler was known for a 36-match winning streak in 2014


 
Erica Elizabeth Wiebe celebrates after beating Kazakhstan's Guzel Manyurova for the gold in the women's wrestling freestyle 75-kg competition. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

Erica Elizabeth Wiebe celebrates after beating Kazakhstan’s Guzel Manyurova for the gold. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

After dominating her first three matches in the women’s 75-kilogram freestyle wrestling competition in Rio, Stittsville, Ontario’s Erica Wiebe won gold on Thursday evening. Read on for the 411 on the Olympic gold medalist.

Age: 27
Height: 5-7
Weight: 165 lbs.
Hometown: Stittsville, ON

Making quick work

Wiebe has made quick work of her first three opponents at these Games, defeating Germany’s Maria Selmaier 3-0 in the round of 16, China’s Zhang Fengliu 3-1 in the quarter-finals, and Belarus’ Vasilisa Marzaliuk 3-0 in the semi-finals.

Her opponent in the final, Manyurova, is a 38-year-old veteran who won bronze at the London Olympics in 2012 and silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004 when she represented Russia. Wiebe is competing at her first Olympics and attending her third after she served as Leah Callahan’s training partner at the London Games and worked at the Sochi Games as a volunteer.

A history of success

Wiebe is well known for her 36-match winning streak in 2014, which spanned several tournaments, including the Commonwealth Games and World University Championships, where she took home gold medals.

In 2015 she was nearly as good, going 29-1 at international tournaments from Germany to Spain, but was still left off of Canada’s Pan Am Games and World Championship teams.

A student of the game

Wiebe has plenty of brain to go with her brawn and holds a pair of degrees—a bachelor of kinesiology and a bachelor of arts in sociology—from the University of Calgary. She first started wrestling in Grade 9 when she spotted a sign-up sheet for her school’s co-ed team.


 

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