Sports spotlight: Laura Gordon and Laura Wilson


The Peak got the opportunity to sit down with two members of women’s wrestling team


By Clay Gray
Photos by Mark Burnham

Meet Laura and Laura. These two are members of the Simon Fraser varsity wrestling team but first names and wrestling aren’t the only things they have in common. They are both from British Columbia, started wrestling in eighth grade, and are in their final year at SFU. They were rivals growing up, and now work together to help the Clan compete towards a common goal of winning a national championship. Individually, they want to finish in the top three at nationals.

Although they are now good friends, throughout high school they competed against each other. They were often forced to share the podium. Any athlete can tell you that doesn’t make it easy to get along with someone. However, in grade 12, a chance to travel with SFU gave them something else to share; an affinity for the city by the bay, San Francisco. Gordon told the Peak, “We actually hated each other, until the trip. San Fran gave us a chance to bond and have fun.” Since then, they have travelled with each other and the rest of the wrestling team all over North America.
Wrestlers are typically unusual people, as it takes a unique person to voluntarily step into public wearing a singlet, and these two are no exception. When asked how they felt about their wrestling apparel, Wilson replied, “I love spandex,” and Gordon said, “I was a swimmer until I started wrestling, so I’ve always been wearing nothing in my competitions.” While many people know about the hilarious outfits worn by wrestlers, most people aren’t aware that in the days leading up to competition wrestlers do something that is known as “cutting weight.” Though cutting weight happens in several sports, wrestlers are known to have some of the steepestweight losses, with some wrestlers dropping close to 10 kilograms just to step on a scale for less than 10 seconds. Although they don’t cut that much, they have to tighten their belts after shedding a few kilos to make 55 kg (Wilson) and 59 kg (Gordon).
Even though many similarities exist, they differ just as much as any other two people. Gordon is a lower mainland local majoring in criminology, with a minor in psychology. Wilson is a health science major who hails from Tofino. Gordon gets her study on in the library, while Wilson does it in the kitchen. Gordon works in retail and Wilson is a surf instructor.
Although, men had dominated the sport for centuries, women’s wrestling has become popular in the last few decades. SFU has had a team since the 1991–92 season, but did not become varsity until 2006. They won the national championships in their first year as a true varsity team. Gordon and Wilson are looking to follow in the steps of SFU alumni like Olympic gold medalist, Carol Hyunn. Sadly, the powerhouse women’s wrestling team won’t get a chance to compete for an NCAA championship this year as there isn’t women’s wrestling in the NCAA. However, that doesn’t allow women’s wrestling any slack in regards to the new NCAA Bylaws. Gordon and Wilson both say, “Kelly Weber [Athletic Compliance Director] makes sure we follow the rules.” That’s important, since they want to be eligible for the Women College Wrestling Association championship on Jan. 25–26 in Bristol, Tennessee.