Biography:

Since immigrating from Cuba in 2004, Haislan Garcia has become a three-time Canadian Olympian. After receiving his Canadian citizenship in December 2007, he represented Canada for the first time at the 2008 Pan American Championships where he won silver. He went on to compete in his first Olympic Games at Beijing 2008. He added three more Pan Am Championship medals in 2009, 2010 and 2011 before heading to his second Olympic Games at London 2012, where he made it to the quarterfinals. Garcia has made six world championship appearances, beginning in 2009, and recorded his best result in 2010 when he finished fifth. Garcia has stood on numerous international podiums, including the Dave Schultz Memorial where he won gold in 2010 and 2011 as well as bronze in 2013. In 2014 he stood atop the podium at the Canada Cup and Bill Farrell Memorial. Garcia made his Pan Am Games debut at Toronto 2015 where he won a bronze medal.

Getting to Know…

Family: Parents Eutimio Veranes Goulet and Regla Garcia Martinez… Younger sister Mirialis… His father was the first to immigrate to Canada, followed by his mother and sister… Haislan immigrated from Cuba at age 21 after finishing military school and was able to bring his son Harrison, who was 5 at the time and is also now a wrestler, to Canada in early 2008, having worked various jobs (construction, carpentry, cleaning movie theatres) while learning English to do so… Getting into the Sport: Started wrestling at age 8 after a coach approached him at school… Upon immigrating to Toronto was asked if he wanted to relocate to Vancouver to further his wrestling career… Odds and Ends: Idolized Canadian Olympic gold medallist Daniel Igali while growing up in Cuba and pretended to be him… Favourite motto: “Anything is possible… if you work hard, you can do it.”