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Olympian Erica Wiebe becomes Alberta’s first-ever sports ambassador

Calgary Olympian named Alberta’s first-ever sports ambassador
WATCH: On Saturday, Alberta wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Erica Wiebe was announced as the province's first-ever ambassador for sport and active living. Michael King reports.

Alberta wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Erica Wiebe is taking on a new role as the province’s first-ever ambassador for sport and active living.

The 30-year-old athlete, who lives and trains in Calgary, plans to promote physical activity to all Albertans, with her focus on under-represented groups in sport like women and girls.

“I’m really excited to be an advocate for increased opportunities and to allow all Albertans to receive the benefits of sport,” Wiebe said Saturday. “I have learned so many things from sport. I think it’s essential for physical wellness as well as mental wellness.”

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Wiebe was busy this weekend coaching junior high wrestlers at the Alberta Winter Games in Airdrie.

“Kids getting out there and taking risks and failing and getting up and trying again — that’s the thing that sport is inherently teaching,” she said.

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“I think there [are] so many skills that you learn through sport and to see the kids struggle and triumph and have fun — those are the things they’re going to have forever.”
Erica Wiebe (left) of Canada and Guzel Manyurova of Kazakhstan fight in their women’s 75kg freestyle wrestling gold medal match at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games on Aug. 18, 2016. Wiebe won the bout.
Erica Wiebe (left) of Canada and Guzel Manyurova of Kazakhstan fight in their women’s 75kg freestyle wrestling gold medal match at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games on Aug. 18, 2016. Wiebe won the bout. Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

The provincial government said it was the right time to introduce the role.

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Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, said in a statement that Wiebe’s dedication is inspirational.

“Her ability to connect, inspire and elevate is what makes her truly unique,” she said. “She is so passionate about both youth and everyday Albertans being active and participating in sport. We thank her for being a true champion of health and wellness in our province.”

Erica Wiebe of Canada poses with her gold medal at the victory ceremony for the women’s 75 kg freestyle wrestling event at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games on Aug. 18, 2016.
Erica Wiebe of Canada poses with her gold medal at the victory ceremony for the women’s 75 kg freestyle wrestling event at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games on Aug. 18, 2016. Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

Wiebe won gold in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games and at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Alberta government said Wiebe will continue training during her ambassadorship for wrestling events, including the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

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“I’m training very hard to hopefully represent Canada once again at the Tokyo Olympic Games, but I’ve always been really active in my community,” she said. “For me, I just think this is giving me a broader platform to continue to be an advocate for sport.”

In March, Wiebe will find out if she is competing in the Olympics.