Wrestler Erica Wiebe named Commonwealth Games Flag-Bearer
GOLD COAST, Australia – Olympic and two-time Commonwealth Games Champion in wrestling, Erica Wiebe will will carry the Canadian flag into the closing ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
“To win the 2014 Commonwealth Games, then the 2016 Olympic Games, and repeat again as Commonwealth Champion is an amazing achievement,” said Canadian Chef de Mission Claire Carver-Dias. “With her unquenchable energy and love of the Commonwealth Sport Movement, Erica embodies the true spirit of Canada’s amazing athletes.”
Wiebe of Stittsville ON, defended her 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Games by winning the women’s 76 kg weight-class. Wiebe is only the second wrestler to ever carry the flag into the Commonwealth Games ceremony, as acclaimed Canadian wrestler Daniel Igali acted as flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Wiebe described the honour of being considered in the company of great flag-bearers of the past.
“I am incredibly honoured to be named Flag Bearer. What a privilege to follow in the footsteps of such great Canadian sport icons,” said Wiebe. “It feels surreal and I can only imagine the moment I will put the Canadian flag in my hand and walk into the stadium. It’s an honour that an athlete only dreams of.”
Wiebe enjoyed a very successful 2014 season in which she won every individual tournament she entered, a streak of 36 matches, including winning the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal. The success at the Commonwealth Games in part created a momentum that took her to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio where she won Canada’s third ever Olympic gold medal in wrestling when she finished on top of the 75 kg weight class in her Olympic debut. Wiebe joined Tonya Verbeek and Carol Huynh as Canada’s only female Olympic wrestling medalists.
This great honour, bestowed on her by Commonwealth Games Canada, will only enhance Wiebe’s regard for the Commonwealth Games property and what it has done for her as an athlete.
“The Commonwealth Games have a special place in my heart and have been pivotal in the past as I worked towards making the 2016 Olympic team and now as I work towards my best performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” said Wiebe. “The 2014 Commonwealth Games gave me the experience of competing at a major multi-sport games and the confidence going into Rio that I knew what it would take to perform. Defending my Commonwealth Games title was a good test for the pressure that I will face leading into the next Olympics and I am excited for the challenge.”
Leading a Canadian team of 330 into the ceremony, Canada will join the athletes of the 71 nations that competed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in a great Gold Coast Australian party celebrating the Games, the athletes and the volunteers and a community that will forever celebrate the wonderful memories.
The closing ceremony will feature and parade of athletes, the declaration of the games being closed and performances by a host of top Australian pop stars at Carrara Stadium.