49 North’s Eric Asselin had a chance to catch up with Canada’s newest world medalist, Linda Morais. Linda is coming off a tremendous showing at the Non-Olympic Weight World Championships, capturing a bronze medal at 60 kg.
Eric Asselin: Congratulations on a great year so far. Have you been able to get some rest?
Linda Morais: Thank you. Yes, it’s been nice. I get to go home soon to see my family for the holidays. I just had to finish an exam today.
Eric Asselin: You graduate next semester. Do you have any academic plans after that?
Linda Morais: I will most likely go to McGill to enrol in a program where I can teach elementary school education one day.
Eric Asselin: This year, you have been to Italy, Turkey, Singapore and Hungary. Did you have a chance to do much sightseeing?
Linda Morais: I did for Italy, Singapore and Hungary. We took an extra five days off in Singapore. I had to return home quickly after Turkey, because my brother was getting married. All countries were beautiful.
Eric Asselin: I re-watched your match with Ali Ragan from this year’s worlds, and it’s a match that could have gone either way with some back and forth at first. She hit you with a quick snap down off the whistle, and you got a push out when she was in on your leg a little later. There were several stalemates. She ended up winning 6-3. Tell me how you were able to stay focused for the rest of the day.
Linda Morais: That was a long day. It didn’t help that I was sick either, but Coach David Zilberman was able to keep me focused and prepared as the day went on.
Eric Asselin: There was only you and Kyle who competed, because it was only the non-Olympic weights. Did it feel different not being part of a large contingent?
Linda Morais: It was definitely different to only have Kyle as a training partner, but we made it work.
Eric Asselin: You lost a close match at Olympic trials to the very solid Michelle Fazzari. How did you handle the loss? Did you make any adjustments after that?
Linda Morais: I learned a lot that day. I have made some technical adjustments since then. I went there as a learning experience, and I honestly had no idea how I was going to do.
Eric Asselin: Are you planning on wrestling 58 kg or 60 kg at Nationals?
Linda Morais: To be determined. 58 is not an issue when I lay off of certain foods.☺ It will depend on other factors as well. It’s nice that it is at Brock, as my family will come up to watch.
Eric Asselin: Who are your main partners in the room?
Linda Morais: Coach David Zilberman likes us to train with many different partners. We have a lot of great young athletes. I stay away from the heavyweights though☺.
Eric Asselin: Have you ever heard of the PWL in India?
Linda Morais: A little bit. Tell me more about it.
Eric Asselin: It’s a short season where you wrestle approx. 7 matches inside of 3 weeks. The team owners select their wrestlers at a bidding auction. They put your face and profile on a large screen with a minimum bidding price, and you go under the hammer.
Linda Morais: That sounds great.
Eric Asselin: Living in Montreal, do you follow any other sports? My son wanted to know if you follow the Montreal Impact. He is a soccer fanatic.
Linda Morais: Nothing too seriously. I’ll watch whatever is playing when I am at the gym. I should follow more though.
Eric Asselin: Tokyo 2020 is the plan. Have you ever been to Japan?
Linda Morais: No, but I would love to go. I will keep training very hard and will do my best.
Eric Asselin: Linda, thank you very much for the interview.
Linda Morais: You’re welcome, Eric.