Erika Levesque | Wrestling Club
Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff
Photo by Toni Van Eden
“Meet a Gee-Gee” takes a look at the people under the jerseys. Whether they’re varsity athletes or otherwise, we ask the players questions you want answers to. We get the dirt, straight from the horse’s mouth.
MEET ERIKA LEVESQUE, a third-year communications student at the University of Ottawa and president of the U of O’s wrestling club. In an interview with the Fulcrum, Levesque crushed misconceptions about wrestling right before she crushed our production manager, Kyle. Check out the video at thefulcrum.ca.
The Fulcrum: How long have you been wrestling?
Erica Levesque: We just started the club last year so this is my second season with the U of O. I started wrestling in grade 11, which was my first competitive lesson. This is my fifth year.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about wrestling?
There are a whole lot of misconceptions about wrestling. Common ones though are that you have to gain weight to make weight, which isn’t true. It’s not advantageous to be heavy, you want to be as light as possible. Usually they have the weigh-in the night before [a competition] and you want to gain as much weight overnight as you can so that when you step on the mat the next morning, you’re not what you weighed in at the night before. Last March I had a tournament and logged in at 121 pounds, and the next day when I stepped on the mat I was 128 pounds.
Can you tell me a bit about what the season looks like?
We are still a club; we aren’t funded yet, so going to tournaments far away is complicated for us. So far this year we’re going to tournaments in Montreal at Concordia University, and this weekend we’re going to Queen’s. However many people want to attend the tournament go there—when we went to Concordia, we had ten wrestlers there.
What is your favourite thing about being a part of this club?
My favourite part is just the atmosphere. It’s not often that you can wrestle with people and have it not be really awkward.
If you could participate in any other sport at the U of O, what would it be?
Karate isn’t a sport [here], but it’s what I’ve done. Before I did wrestling I was in karate. I didn’t start karate until I was about ten years old, then wrestling when I was 15.
If you had one thing to say to a first-year student who was interested in wrestling, what would it be?
It would probably be to just give it a shot. It’s not a violent sport, they won’t get hurt—I know that’s what prevents people from trying out the sport, because they are afraid of injuries and whatnot—but wrestling is a very safe sport. You’re not allowed to bend joints unnaturally; you’re not allowed to use pressure points to manipulate [your opponent]. It’s about control, it’s not about pain.