GRC gym to be named after Erica Wiebe

Erica Wiebe cuts the cake. Photo by Murilo Torres.

Just one week after she won Olympic gold in Rio, hundreds of residents – many of them kids – packed the gymnasium at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex on Thursday evening to welcome Erica Wiebe back home to Stittsville.

Wiebe led the crowd in O Canada, signed autographs, posed for pictures, and encouraged everyone – young and old – to follow their passions.

Councillor Shad Qadri also announced that the gym would be re-named in honour of the wrestler.

Here are some tweets and photos from tonight’s event.



(via City of Ottawa)

Mayor Jim Watson and members of City Council recognized Olympic gold medal winner Erica Wiebe’s contribution to sports and her community during a celebration held this evening at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex. At the event, Councillor Shad Qadri announced his intention to seek Committee and Council approval of his motion to name the gymnasium at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex after Erica.

“I am proud to support Councillor Shad Qadri in his initiative to name the gymnasium after Erica as a permanent recognition of her hard work, her passion for sports, her achievements, and how proud our city is of her,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Erica’s performance at the Olympics is a testament to her abilities as an athlete and we are truly honoured to be able to call her one of Ottawa’s own.”

The 27-year-old Stittsville native won gold by defeating Kazakhstan’s Guzel Manyurova in the 75-kilogram final at the Rio Olympics. The medal is Canada’s third ever Olympic gold medal in wrestling and the second ever women’s gold. Canada’s Daniel Igali won gold at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and Carol Huynh won gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

“Erica embodies the dedication and effort it takes to excel in sports, and in life. The example she has set as a world-class athlete, and as a person, is something that Ottawa’s young people can learn from and strive to achieve,” said Councillor Jody Mitic, Sports Commissioner for the City of Ottawa. “We are all proud to welcome her back from Rio and to congratulate her on her success.”

Erica grew up dreaming of becoming a soccer superstar and played for the Ottawa Fury during high school. However, it was in Grade 9 at Sacred Heart High School that she signed up for co-ed wrestling and started on the road to Olympic gold. Erica is the reigning Olympic champion and Commonwealth Games champion in the 75-kilogram weight class.

“Our community is incredibly proud of Erica, who grew up here and trained here when she was starting her journey to becoming a Olympic gold medalist and world champion,” said Councillor Qadri. “That is why I am proposing naming the Goulbourn Recreation Complex’s gymnasium in her honour as a constant reminder to all residents of everything she has accomplished, and will accomplish, as a local athlete.”

Erica’s passion to encourage youth in sport has led her to work with Motivate Canada to empower youth through positive messages and goal-setting drawn from her own athletic experiences. She also serves as an ambassador for Right to Play, Fast and Female and other charitable organizations across Canada.


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