Olympic champion Erica Wiebe wants more women to wrestle

Fresh off her tour in India as part of the Mumbai Maharathi team in the Pro Wrestling league, Olympic gold medallist Erica Wiebe is back helping the next generation of Canadian athletes achieve their goals.

Canadian will try out for WWE in early 2017

Olympic gold medallist Erica Wiebe (right) surprised a high school women's wrestling team with brand new equipment. Student, Brea Rodgers, (left) applied for the Playtex Play On grant that led to the donation. (CBC Sports)

Olympic gold medallist Erica Wiebe is a busy woman.

Fresh off her tour in India as captain of the Mumbai Maharathi team in the Pro Wrestling league, Wiebe is back helping the next generation of Canadian athletes achieve their goals.

Monday morning she surprised Etobicoke, Ont.,'s West Humber Collegiate Institute women's wrestling team with some new equipment as part of the Playtex Play On Grant program. 

With this donation, Wiebe hopes to "empower girls to walk out there with confidence and to be fierce and never question who they are and what they want to do in life."

It was an easy decision for Wiebe to be involved in the event, as anything that encourages young women to stay involved in sport, especially wrestling, is very important to her.

Grade 11 student and two-year wrestling team member Brea Rodgers (pictured above) applied for the grant on behalf of her team and was excited to meet the Olympian. Rodgers was presented with the new gear, which included bag, singlet, boots, t-shirt and water bottle, along with her fierce teammates:

'There's a target on your back'

Wiebe spent the first three weeks of 2017 in Mumbai, India as a pro wrestler. What made the experience so powerful for her was the unknown. She went into it with an open mind and was blown away by her teammates, the comradery of the group and the 3,000 fans screaming her name at any given match. 

On personal level Wiebe feels she proved she can win under any circumstances. She was scared going in with the weight of the Olympics on her shoulders.

"There's a target on your back," she admitted.

The matches in India were her first post-Rio competitions, so she tried to shed expectations, and just do what she does best: win.

And with six wins in six bouts, it's no fluke she got that gold medal in Rio.


So what can we expect next from Wiebe?

Well, perhaps she will be smashing folding chairs over foes heads and diving off the top rope as part of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Shortly after Rio 2016 she received an invitation try out for WWE, and as someone who tries to say "yes" to everything, Wiebe again is open minded about the opportunity. 

What will it take to make it? Wiebe isn't totally sure, but see's potential in the experience, and also a potential problem:

"I think I would be so good at WWE [and] I think that I would love it so much...that's really the problem."

But don't worry, defending her gold medal at Tokyo 2020 is still the plan.

"Four years is a long time, but I love the sport of wrestling and I still feel like I'm scratching the surface of what I'm capable of, and so it's exciting to just get back to training and focus on what I love doing most."

We look forward to seeing what the next four years hold for this champion, whether it's at Wrestlemania or another undertaking.

Add @CBCOlympics to Instagram to see pictures and video from the surprise donation.


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