49 North Interviews: Marwa Amri

49 North’s Eric Asselin recently discussed training, Rio success and future goals with 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Marwa Amri of Tunisia.

Interview conducted and translated by Eric Asselin

Eric – Tell me about your day to day life after your success in Rio. What has changed, and what
has stayed the same?

Amri – What has changed is that I became an Olympic medallist. This is an honour for me
and my family. What has not changed is the intense training and preparation that I
still do.

Eric – Do you plan to continue wrestling until Tokyo 2020?

Amri – I absolutely will wrestle in Tokyo, and I absolutely will honour and give joy to the
Tunisian people with another medal.

Eric – You defeated Helen Maroulis at the 2009 World Junior Championships. Have you
wrestled her since then?

Amri – Yes, I defeated her, but we have not wrestled since.

Eric – Your victory over Yulia Ratkevich was impressive. Tell me about your preparation and
state of mind before the match.

Amri – Yulia is a great athlete, and I have enormous respect and admiration for her. I
woke up that morning and told myself that I would not be leaving Rio empty
handed. I worked hard, and I always believed in myself, and I knew that it would
pay off. Thank God, my dream came true. My preparation for her was the same as
my usual preparation against strong athletes. I focused on my skills and how I can
use those skills against my opponent’s weaknesses. Mentally, I told myself that I
want this medal badly, and I was going to go and get it.

Eric – Has women’s wrestling become more popular in Tunisia due to your success in Rio?

Amri – I believe that the media has a large influence, so after all the interviews that I did
after Rio, wrestling has definitely become more popular for women in Tunisia.

Eric – Are you a full time athlete?

Amri – I am a full time athlete. I do have a profession, but it is on hold until I retire from

Eric – Women’s wrestling continues to grow in Canada. What advice do you have for young
Canadian women wrestlers for them to achieve success?

Amri – My advice to Canadian women wrestlers is to work, work and work. Believe in
yourself, and believe that everything will pay off in the end.

Eric – You are the first woman from Africa to win an Olympic medal in wrestling. Do you
believe we will continue to see success from African women wrestlers in future

Amri – Tunisia has a lot of athletes with potential, so I hope we see more success in the

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