Captain’s Cup

February 13 and 14 will be special. And not because it’s Valentines Day.

Because it’s Captain’s Cup!

The Captain’s Cup is a Women’s wrestling event unlike any other. It will be a dual tournament style with Captains that have drafted their teams to compete for glory and prize money as well.

This event is put on by Titan Mercury Wrestling Club, FloWrestling and USA Wrestling.

The individuals who qualified the weights for the Olympics were selected as the Captains. (With some not being able to compete, and a little rearranging, they were set) The Captains are as follows:

50KG- Sarah Hildebrandt

53KG- Jacarra Winchester

57KG- Jenna Burkert

62KG- Kayla Miracle

68KG- Tamyra Mensah-Stock

76KG- Victoria Francis

Next, a draft was held of eligible athletes in each weight as the captains picked 5 other women to fill out their team.

This draft happened on January 23.

Now, we wait in anticipation for the tournament to take place.

This kind of event is historic in its occurrence, and will be a great opportunity to not only create publicity for women’s wrestling, but also create monetary incentive to win. With times changing, this is a huge step for the furthering of women’s wrestling, and just the first of many.

Legacy Series: Episode 2

Coaches - MVD Women's Wrestling Camps

Episode 2 of our Series features Kristie Davis

Kristie Davis began her wrestling career after she tore her ACL while doing Judo. It was an easy transition over and filled the void she had while allowing her to keep competing.

She found much success in wrestling, and it did a lot more than just fill a void. In time, Kristie quickly rose to the top of not only the United States, but also the entire world.

Today, Kristie stands as the most decorated women’s wrestler in the history of USA Wrestling. By making 10 World teams and earning 9 medals, she was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2018; becoming the second women behind Trisha Saunders.

After competing, she would go in an help the girls whom her husband coached, along with going to school to get her nursing degree.

Kristie continues to give back even today. She is now the head coach at Emmanuel College in Georgia, where she coaches along with working at the hospital. Being around the girls and team there, showed her just how much she has to offer not only those girls, but also the girls all throughout the US She has also coached many US World and National teams over the years.

Kristie talks about the great times that she has had during her career, and even with the many setbacks she has faced, it has been one of the best things she has done. Not only has she accomplished great things, but she also helped to pioneer the way for women’s wrestling.

Thank you Kristie Davis for being part of the Legacy of Women’s Wrestling.

The Legacy Series

Wreaper Wrestling | Culture, Events, & News

I recently started working with an organization called Wreaper Wrestling.

They are a company that strives to empower women in combative sports; sports such as wrestling. With a mission statement that explains how they “[aim] to inspire athletes with a cutting-edge brand for women’s wrestling” you can expect great things.

As the Communications and Marketing Officer (CMO) I have created and headed a new project called “The Legacy Series” that I am very passionate about and excited for.

The Legacy Series is a series of videos highlighting women’s wrestler over the years that have done great things for the sport.

Strong women, pioneers, role models, and many others that don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

My aim through this series is to show the wrestling community and even the whole world how amazing these women are. To tell even a little part of their story so that people will know them better.

Wrestling is such a diverse and inclusive sport in many aspects, and that’s part of what makes it so great. There are many stories about the legendary men’s wrestlers throughout the years, however, on the women’s side, we are lacking.

This is where I hope The Legacy Series will help.

These women and the things they did/do are incredible.

Their stories need to be told.

Head to Wreaper Wrestling on Instagram and Youtube to follow along.

Legacy Series: Episode 1

As part of Wreaper Wrestling, we are doing a series of videos called The Legacy Series. This project hopes to shed light on the many amazing women that are in the sport of wrestling and how they have paved the way for others and deserve some recognition.

Kicking off this series is Danielle Lappage.

Danielle Lappage is a Canadian Wrestler from Olds Alberta who found a passion for wrestling at a very young age.

Throughout her wrestling Career, she has accomplished many spectacular feats, such as winning Cadet Worlds, winning Canada Cup, taking silver at the World Championships, and becoming an Olympian in 2016.

However, during her warm up at the Rio Olympics, she ruptured her hamstring; she gathered all her strength and tried to wrestler her first match, but she soon realized that she could not wrestle.

Her next few months were taken to recover and during that time, she turned to coaching in order to give back to a sport she has gotten so much from. As the Assistant Coach at Simon Fraser University, she touched the lives of many, and eventually was able to get back on the mat herself.

After her first completion, the fire inside her burned brighter than ever before. She was on a mission, and that mission was to be the best. Not only the best physical, but mentally as well, and so, with not only a bachelors degree, but with a Masters as well, she also decided to go to Law School in Calgary. She continued to rise in the competition as a wrestler, and as the year 2020 approached, accomplished her goal of becoming an Olympian once again.

Even with the postponement of the Olympics, Danielle’s fire is still burning strong, and she now looks on towards 2021 with one goal; to be an Olympic Champion.

She is a great example to girls and women everywhere of accomplishing great things, resilience though trials, giving back to the next generation, and bettering yourself in all aspects of life.

Thank you Danielle Lappage for being part of the Legacy of Women’s Wrestling.

Wait…. What about us?

Some would say that sports are the center of our entertainment, the center of our society.

But I want to ask you, when I ask you to think of a sport, what comes to mind? Football, basketball, baseball?

What about the best athletes? Payton Manning, Lebron James, Jackie Robinson?

But wait.

Where in that do the women come in?

Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Alex Morgan.

Would you have even thought about them if I hadn’t mentioned their names?

On many levels, there is a gap in gender and sports.

Especially in those male dominated sports.

Sports where men have traditionally been the only ones participating. But now, times are changing. Women want to participate. They want to compete. And they want to be seen doing so.

I will say that yes, women’s sports are still new in comparison, and that can account for that gap, but often times, the governing body is another reason; if not the biggest reason.

The NCAA is the governing body of all college athletics, and it contributes to a huge gap in the inequality of coverage, promotion, and popularity of women’s sports.

Take basketball for example…

The NCAA hypes up mens basketball considerably more than it does women’s basketball. The National tournament is the height of the entire basketball season for both genders, however, it is more highly publicized on the mens side.

“March Madness”. It is probably one of the most talked about sporting events in all of college sports, but yet do you ever hear about the women’s tournament? Perhaps occasionally, but nowhere near on the same level.

So what about us?

The women.

What do we have to do to get our competitions seen?

We need to keep competing, keep working hard, and keep fighting for equality in sport.

Maybe one day the NCAA will take notice and level the playing field. Maybe they will give women’s sports the publicity it needs to continue to grow.

However on the contrary, there are some governing bodies have done a good job at trying to create equality.

The governing body of sports in California; California Interscholastic Federation or CIF has done just that. In an effort to be forward thinking and in response to the rapid growth of women’s wrestling, the CIF sanctioned the men’s and women’s state meet to be on the same day, in the same venue, with the same fans, awards and publicity that comes with this prestigious tournament. The CIF has also done this for basketball, track and field, and many other sports.

So it can be done.

Now why isn’t the NCAA doing this? Perhaps it all comes down to money? Maybe it’s in the works? Only time will tell.

Until then, we need to keep fighting to bridge the gap.

2020NE

2020 Was a crazy year…

For the world, but also for sports.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the 2020 Olympic dream has been change from 2020 vision to a vision for 2021.

In a statement here from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee the decision was made to postpone the Olympics.

It is a difficult decision that was made in a difficult time with difficult circumstances.

Postponement can be taken a few ways.

  1. Heartbreak. All of the athletes around the world have been looking forward to summer 2020 for a long time now. It was what they were waiting for, preparing for and planning for. RETIREMENT?
  2. It allows for more. More growth physically and mentally. More time spent training and honing in on skills. More time to mentally prepare. More rehabilitation in some cases.
  3. It shows acknowledgment of the greater good. By postponing the olympics, it allows for time to come to let COVID-19 calm down and people to heal.

These and many other things can be taken from the news in these chaotic times.

How did you feel about the postponement?

How do you feel now?

It is now 2021.

An Olympic year.

January. A new start.

Some may have the same goals, some may have changed. However, for my Olympic Hopefuls, the goal has stayed the same, and they look forward to this year with eagerness for what is to come.

BC Wrestling

Wrestling is one of the oldest sports and has competitors who compete all throughout the World. Historically, Canada wrestling has had much success and even more specifically, those athletes from British Columbia.

For years, athletes from British Columbia have traveled the world and competed at the highest of levels. Athletes from back in the day like Carol Huynh, Justin Abdou, and even athletes more recently like Justina Di Stasio all have gone on to the world stage and had much success. British Columbia is home to some of these long time legends and is home to the future, up-and-coming legends.

These legends often having small beginnings.

There are many schools all throughout BC that have wrestling programs for both boys and girls, for all different age groups. Kids can start wrestling as early as 5 and may continue for years. In the High School teams division, athletes compete in the provincial tournament held in February every year.

Many athletes who have embarked on this lifelong journey that is wrestling are eternally grateful that they began. It leads to much more than just physical improvements and fleeting accomplishments. The province of British Columbia continues to allow individuals the opportunity to begin their journey, and these athletes are so grateful for that.

Though the medals and titles are short-lived, the memories and personal characteristics learned are lifelong.

“Remember that time we were at that tournament and…”

“I’ve met some of best friends…”

“I learned the confidence that helped me to get a good career…”

So many good things come from wrestling, and though it is hard, it is definitely worth it.

So remember, those killer practices, and tough matches are only for a short time, but the confidence, friends, memories, and empowerment is forever.

So what is stopping you? Join BC Wrestling today!

Staying Healthy

It is super important to stay healthy so that athletes can compete at their very best. And during this flu season especially, staying healthy is a widely discussed topic.

Being “healthy” means different things for different people, but there is a general idea that most strive for, and it encompasses more than just the physical aspects. Physical Health is probably way is thought of most when it comes to health, but there is also mental, emotional and spiritual that all can impact how a person feels. Since wrestling is an individual and a very demanding sport, athletes need to feel their best in order to compete at their best.

To be physically healthy, wrestlers need to be eating right. This doesn’t mean that they have to nothing but eat chicken and rice all day every day with no treats at all, but it means that their meals need to be balanced with a good mix of carbs, fats and proteins. They need to eat lots of plants, and good sources of protein, healthy fats, but also should enjoy it with a few treats every once in a while. They need to eat enough to fuel their body, and they cannot starve themselves and they shouldn’t do crash diets (in order to make weight). The hard part is finding balance between being too strict and then not being strict enough. Food is essential to fueling wrestlers bodies in order for them to compete well. Carbs are the body’s main source of fuel, muscles use them to expand and contract and need them. Proteins are the primary building blocks to build more and maintain the muscles athletes have, and fats are the main source of fuel for the brain- the organ that keeps everything else going.

Speaking of the mind, mental health is very important and wrestlers should focus on that aspect too. Mental health is not a very commonly talked about subject in the athletic world but needs to be. Athletes go through a lot of things in their respective sports, and especially in such a demanding and individual sport like wrestling. Feelings of depression and anxiety are often felt, and the ways that wrestlers deal with those are very important. Some like to journal, talk to counselors or trusted confidants, however, if it is bigger than something they can overcome on their own, sometimes seeing a doctor is necessary. These feeling are ok, but they can have a big negative impact on athletes, and need to be understood and acknowledged. Having open dialogue about these kinds of feelings is important to help keep athletes mentally healthy too.

Emotional health is often coupled with mental health, and though it is similar, there is a distinction between the two. Emotions constantly flow through athletes on a daily basis and these feelings can impact ones mood and eventually impact habits and who they are. Being able to deal with these emotions is necessary to their daily health, and especially for competing. Often times wrestlers have some kind of outlet whether it be something creative like arts, or music or even cooking or something they can do that they enjoy in order to keep them emotionally healthy and happy. Also, when it comes to competitions and feelings like nervousness or fear need to be dealt with. Part of a wrestlers health is also learning to work through or work with the emotions they feel and using them to their advantage to compete.

Another aspect of health is spiritual. There are many athletes that identify with many different religions or other spiritual practices. Whether that is organized religion Christianity, Buddhism, or even something less organized and more personal. Even if it is not a religion, it is important to feel as if ones life has purpose and meaning, and often staying balanced and centered. The goal is to feel peace, and whatever brings an athlete peace should be emphasized.

Health is so important for any athlete and for wrestlers especially and focusing on personal overall health is one of the main aspects in creating a good wrestler.

So as time goes on, lets focus on creating great wrestlers, but also health wrestlers for now as they compete and even for them later on in life.

Women in Sport

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Pictured: Megan Rapinoe, Liz Cambage, & Katie Sowers

Women in sport.

Lately that has been a highly discussed topic all around the world, and especially today as it is National Women and Girls in Sport Day.

According to the Women’s Sports Foundation website, this day is to celebrate and empower women in all sports.

In all levels of sport, women are breaking through and making names for themselves, and it is mainly seen in high school, and even professional sports. Big things are happening around the world as women fight for equality, and make history in sport.

The USA Women’s National Soccer team was a big buzz months ago around the World Cup as they filed a lawsuit against USA Soccer fighting for equality. They are a powerhouse team and have been for years, and like was stated in this article, this lawsuit has “thrust them to the forefront of a broader fight for equality in women’s sport.”

The WNBA recently proposed a contract that not only raised the salary cap for players, but also offered paid maternity leave as well. This article speaks to the notion that the WNA also wants to help “lead the way” to help push for equality in sport.

With the 49ERs participation last Sunday, they had the first ever female coach in the Super Bowl. Katie Sowers is one of the Offensive assistance coaches for the San Francisco 49ERs, and according to this article, she had “always wanted to be a part of a NFL football team”, and now she is not only doing that, but excelling in that role.

Now on to wrestling.

In North America, women’s wrestling is THRIVING!

This article discusses how even though participation in high school sports in the United States is down, participation in girls wrestling is up by 30%. Even with only 20/50 states with women’s wrestling as a high school sanction sport.

In a primarily male dominated sport, women’s involvement has increased immensely, on all levels.

Against all odds, the women persevere.

Being a woman in wrestling is hard… There are many barriers that they have already and still need to overcome. However, there are many women paving the way for that. There are now well recognized women in the world of wrestling; Adeline Gray, Helen Maroulis and many others. These women are now role models that other women and girls in the sport of wrestling can look up to.

These among MANY others are the ones who help girls realize their potential, and help them to stay motivated in the sport. So today as National Women and Girls in Sport Day, we thank these women who have paved the way, and continue to excel so that the younger generation can do so as well.

We thank them, today and everyday.

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Pictured: Adeline Gray & Helen Maroulis

Emerging Sport Status

Women’s wrestling was just granted NCAA Emerging Sport Status after a vote last week.

According to the NCAA website, “an emerging sport is a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institution..” It is required that Division I and II sports must gain at least 40 programs, among other standards, in order to be considered to gain that status.

On January 25, 2020, the NCAA Convention voted to grant Women’s Wrestling (and a few other sports such as acrobatics and tumbling) Emerging Sport Status for Division II and III. (Division I is still yet to vote on this later in the year)

What a huge leap forward in the promotion of Women’s Wrestling.

So what does this mean for women’s wrestling?

Adding wrestling to the NCAA is another way to increase the popularity, visibility and accessibility of women’s wrestling in Universities across the nation.

There are now more women portrayed in the College wrestling scene for younger girls to look up to than ever before. With the entrance into the NCAA, that will only increase tenfold. It is very important for young athletes to be able to see people like them, doing what they do, at an elite level. These college athletes can now be seen as role models for the up and coming generation.

Women’s programs in many cases can help to save men’s programs at some schools that are struggling. Many schools like Boise State, UC Davis and many others have lost their men’s wrestling programs in the last 10 years. Adding women’s programs to schools like these will help schools to comply with Title IX , and therefore help to save men’s programs.

Colleges are adding women’s wrestling programs at a incredibly fast rate, and as time progresses, girls will one day no longer have to chose between academics and wrestling. For years, girls in high school have had to make the decision to either go to the school that is popular and well known; one that they have had family go to or have heard about for years and years, or one that has a wrestling program. Granted, many of these colleges with women’s programs are great schools with wonderful facilities, but with the introduction of women’s wrestling into the NCAA, these girls will have so many more options.

USA National team coach Terry Steiner in this article by USA Wrestling quotes how, “as a sport, we have been fighting for many years to create opportunity for girls and women’s to wrestle at all levels… this decision gives complete legitimacy for the sport.”

This decision is the first of many in the realm of women’s wrestling and the NCAA, and is just a starting point for all the great things that are to come.