Balance of #6Pack to Compete Thursday in Rio
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – On Thursday, for Canadian wrestlers Jillian Gallays (53KG), Danielle Lappage (63KG) and Erica Wiebe (75KG) all the hard work, sacrifices and support will be worth it as they are able to compete at the Barra Olympic Park in Carioca Arena 2 for their opportunity for an Olympic medal.
Coming off an exciting year for each wrestler leading to this moment, the Olympic wrestling competition in Rio could represent a time to shine. Erica Wiebe, who has defeated the entire field of 75KG athletes at competitions in the past and has had a strong string of big tournament wins in the last two years, had to overcome adversity on her Road to Rio. Beaten at the 2015 Canadian Championships, Wiebe lost out on her opportunity to represent Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
“At times I have had to do some serious soul searching on my journey,” said Wiebe. “I decided that I wouldn’t let myself and any poor decisions get in the way of wanting to achieve my goals and despite some ups and downs along the way, I’m still holding true to that memory.”
After winning the Edmonton Team Trials event in December of 2015 and the Frisco Olympic qualifier in early March 2016, Wiebe, from Stittsville ON, secured her opportunity to go for gold in Rio. Perhaps Wiebe’s stiffest competition will come from three-time world champion Adeline Gray (USA).
Within the 53KG weight class, Saskatoon native Jillian Gallays, who has overcome injuries, including a leg injury sustained at a training camp in Poland just four months before she was set to compete in an Olympic qualifier, has the internal will to fight for a good result and knows how to overcome adversity.
“I love the challenge,” says Gallays. “It is always changing and growing and keeps me tough.”
Within the 53KG weight class, Gallays will need that internal strength that she is known for and is closely watching Japanese wrestler Saori Yoshida who is on a quest for her fourth consecutive gold medal.
Olds, Alberta wrestler Danielle Lappage will compete for Canada on Thursday within the 63KG weight class and round out the six strong Canadian entries within the women’s tournament known as the #6Pack. Lappage is ready for the intense competition that is the Olympics, where the best in the world come looking to win.
“I love pushing myself to my mental and physical edge, and seeing improvements each time. When I perform well, the feeling I get is incomparable to anything else in life. Also traveling the world to compete with some of my best friends is an amazing opportunity.”
Lappage’s greatest competition might come from London bronze medalist Soronzonbold Battsetseg of Mongolia, but the athlete nicknamed Danimal is ready to fight for her dreams.
“So excited for this time, this opportunity, this moment, more than I can express,” says Lappage.
The Women’s competition will end August 18, 2016 with men’s freestyle competition starting on August 19, 2016. Korey Jarvis (125KG) will wrestle on August 20, 2016 and Haislan Garcia (65KG) on August 21, 2016, the final day of the Rio 2016 Games.
For additional information on scheduling and results please visit: https://unitedworldwrestling.org/event/olympic-games .