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Episode 17: Carol Huynh

Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler Carol Huynh on the fame the Games brought her, the toughest moment of her career, and why she’s still working on finding her confidence

Today, wrestler Carol Huynh joins the podcast for an open and honest conversation about growing up in a small town, race, her success, and why she wasn’t prepared for the fame that followed her gold medal win.

Carol grew up in Hazelton, B.C. and got into the sport while in high school. She then went to Simon Fraser University on a wrestling scholarship, and competed at both the Jr. and Sr. World Championships. It’s when she won a bronze at the Sr Games that she knew she had a talent.

Carol qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she became the first Canadian woman to ever win an Olympic Gold Medal in the sport. But it was her success in 2008 that caught her off guard, as she wasn’t sure how to handle her new-found fame. Carol says she felt a lot of pressure to be “perfect”, and that’s when she decided she needed to turn her perspective around and start appreciating what she had.

With a new attitude, Carol landed on the podium once again, this time, earning a Bronze at the London Olympics. After battling injuries she decided to call it a career, and started coaching for Wrestling Canada. In today’s episode, Carol explains how she’s still struggling to find her confidence as a coach after being an athlete for so long.

Carol also shares with Christina why she thinks so many people still feel wrestling is a male sport, and what she’d like to see changed for women in sport today.

We also talk about:

· Being Canada’s first female to win an Olympic Gold in wrestling

· The pressures associated with being at the top of your game

· Her decision to retire

· Gaining confidence

· Wanting to see more women’s sports in the media

Quote:

“I went from being a total expert on something, I was an expert at being a wrestler, and then I go into coaching and all the sudden I feel like I’m a beginner again. And so I guess I haven’t had the validation piece of it, so I’m constantly like, okay I really need to work on my confidence here.”

-Carol Huynh on transitioning from being an athlete to a coach

Resources:

Guest Info

Carol Huynh

Instagram: @cghuynh

Twitter: @huynhcarol

Host Info – Christina Heydanus

Instagram: @tinaheydanus

Twitter: @tinaheydanus

Show Info – Opening the Playbook

Website: openingtheplaybook.com

Instagram: @openingtheplaybook

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