Calgary wrestler, Erica Wiebe, is the 2016 Female Athlete of the Year. Wiebe capped off an incredible 2016 season as she captured a Gold medal in the 75kg women’s wrestling competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Wiebe became only the third female Canadian wrestler to capture an Olympic Gold medal and she is the third wrestler to win the Henry Viney award as the top Calgary Female Athlete of the Year. Previous winners of the Viney were Christine Nordhagen 1997 and Carol Huyhnh in 2009.
Originally from Ontario, Erica came to Calgary and the University of Calgary to pursue her wrestling ambitions and academic goals. At the University of Calgary she was a four-time CIS medalist, capturing a silver medal in 2010 and gold in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Erica has two degrees from the University of Calgary (Bachelor of Kinesiology 2012 and Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) in 2016. Following her CIS success Erica continued to train at the University of Calgary as she pursued her international goals.
Wiebe had enjoyed a very successful 2014 season in which she won every individual tournament she entered, a streak of 36 matches, until the world championships quarterfinals. Among her notable victories were gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and World University Championships. It was the third straight year she had stood on the podium at the latter, improving on her silver in 2012 and bronze in 2013. Despite not earning on a spot on the Canadian Pan Am Games or world championship teams in 2015, Wiebe still gained a wealth of international experience, highlighted by first place finishes at the Nordhagen Classics, Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix, Klippan Lady Open, Grand Prix of Germany, Canada Cup, Grand Prix of Spain and Bill Farrell Memorial, extending her international competitive record in 2015 to 29-1.
Representing Canada at the 2016 Rio Games Erica finished on top of the 75kg weight class in her Olympic debut, defeating Kazakhstan’s Guzel Manyurova in the final.
Off the mat Erica is making a commitment to giving back to the community as she is an active ambassador for Fast & Female, Right to Play & KidSport Calgary. She also works with Motivate Canada as part of their Esteem Team as she goes into class rooms to share positive messages and goal setting skills through my sport experiences. As Erica says: “The informal and interactive presentations highlight the values I have learned through sport and is shared in an informative, fun way! It's important for these young girls and boys to see that the athletes they see at the Olympics are just like anyone else; working hard every day to achieve great things. For them to understand that it's cool for a girl to be a wrestler speaks to the opportunity to go out and follow their dreams.” She also gives back to her sport as a coach and mentor.
The Calgary Booster Club congratulates Female Athlete of the Year Erica Weibe for a tremendous year of accomplishments and her first Henry Viney award.