1). Name: Erica Wiebe
2). Sport: Wrestling
3). Athletic Accomplishments: Reigning Olympic Champion in the sport of Freestyle Wrestling. 2018 World Bronze medallist, 2014 World University Champion, and 2x Commonwealth Games Champion.
4). Academic Accomplishments: B. Kin’12 , B.A.(Hons)’16
5). Current Role(s):
· Contract Consultant at Deloitte in Human Capital
· Board Member of Alberta Sport Connection
· Ambassador for Right to Play, Fast & Female, and KidSport Calgary
· Corporate Speaker in Leadership
6). Why did you find it important/ necessary to pursue athletics and academics together?
Having the balanced pursuit of both sport and academics was always essential to my mental well-being. I was able to step into the classroom and be fully immersed in the student experience which made me feel refreshed when it was time to go in for my second workout after classes.
7). What were some of the biggest challenges you experienced while you were a student-athlete:
When I was younger, I wasn’t a good advocate for myself in communication with my teachers and my coaches. As I matured, I realized that an honest conversation can be a powerful tool. I also learned (albeit, very slowly) what was an appropriate amount of stuff to have on my plate. That’s still a challenge because I have a tendency to get excited and say yes to everything but my biggest challenge is pulling myself back so that I can have the best quality in everything that I pursue.
8). What were the advantages & benefits:
My life is not defined by my accomplishments in my sport. Because I have a plan post-sport, something that I am excited by, challenges beyond the mats that I cannot wait to pursue, I feel more confident to step outside my comfort zone. Without the fear of failure, I am able to find a mindset that allows me to perform at my best.
Beyond this essential element, my academic pursuits provided me with context that there is so much more challenges in life beyond not being able to execute a technical skill. It puts things in perspective. I have also cultivated a group of friends that value me for who I am not what I do.
I also worked as a research assistant for a year which provided me with a very flexible work opportunity that helped offset some of my training expenses so it can be financially beneficially too!
9). Do you have any advice to those currently pursuing or considering pursuing athletic and academics simultaneously?
Challenge yourself, ask for help, have fierce conversations, and most importantly, do what makes your heart happy.