Just because an athlete is no longer competing, doesn’t mean he or she can’t make a huge impact on a sport. Retired wrestler Carol Huynh is one such person whose recent accomplishments have earned her Athlete of the Week honours.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for the 2008 Olympic Champion, who continues to fight for her sport off the mat. On September 8, Huynh was one of five presenters tasked with making the case for wrestling’s return to the Olympic program beyond the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires. As gifted a public speaker as she is a grappler, Huynh helped wrestling get the vote over squash and baseball/softball to be included in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
Huynh had worked diligently on the Save Olympic Wrestling campaign after the sport was dropped from the list of core Olympic sports in February. In addition to the final presentation to the full IOC membership, Huynh had spoken at the IOC Executive Board meeting in May where wrestling was short-listed for inclusion in 2020 and 2024.
During the recently concluded World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Huynh was bestowed two more honours. On September 20 she was formally inducted into the International Wrestling Federation (FILA) Hall of Fame, joining fellow Canadian wrestlers Daniel Igali and Christine Nordhagen. The next day Huynh was one of seven athletes elected by their peers to FILA’s newly formed Athlete Commission. Huynh received 100 votes, the second-most of any candidate.
Huynh’s efforts can only benefit Canada’s current and future wrestlers, some of whom produced podium results at the 2013 World Championships. Jessica MacDonald captured bronze in the 51kg weight class while Stacie Anaka claimed silver in the 67kg weight class.