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
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