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Calgary wrestler Erica Wiebe strikes gold for Canada
Canada's Erica Wiebe, from Stittsville, Ont., kisses her gold medal after defeating Kazakhstan's Guzel Manyurova to win their 75kg gold medal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday, August 18, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Published Friday, August 19, 2016 5:13AM MDT
Members of Calgary’s wrestling community erupted with joy on Thursday afternoon when they witnessed one of their own claim the gold at the Rio Games.
Erica Wiebe, who lives and trains in Calgary, was named winner of the women’s 75 kg freestyle wrestling event, defeating veteran wrestler Guzel Manyurova from Kazakhstan with a score of 6-0.
She also downed Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus, China's Fengliu Zhang and Germany's Maria Selmaier earlier in the day.
The bout was closely watched by everyone at the Riverstone Pub who all exploded in cheers when Wiebe secured the win.
Wiebe, who is originally from Stittsville, Ontario, moved to the city to train with members of Canada’s wrestling team.
Her comrades say the winning moment was years in the making for the 27-year-old.
“It’s such a hard thing to do to win an Olympic gold medal,” said Christine Nordhagen, who helped recruit Wiebe for the national team. “It’s so hard. It was her goal. This is not a four year plan but a 12 year plan and she did it. I’m so proud of her.”
With the victory, Wiebe follows in the footsteps of two-time Olympic medallist Carol Huynh, the winner of Canada's first-ever gold in women's wrestling in Beijing eight years ago, and Tonya Verbeek, who finished on the podium at three separate Games.
Canada has never missed the podium since women's wrestling made its Olympic debut in Athens in 2004.
(With files from The Canadian Press)