OFSAA bronze for Grieve
After a bronze medal in 2023, Eden’s Akira Grieve will be returning for her 12B year with hopes of having an Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations wrestling gold medal hung around her neck.
“I have to change the way I am training and hopefully I don’t get injured because over the last few years I have had many injuries,” the 17-year-old Port Dalhousie resident said.
Her list of injuries is long and painful.
She has torn her rotator cuff and a ligament in her clavicle and this year she broke her right hand while wrestling. At no point did her injuries have her questioning why she was continuing on in the sport.
“I love it,” she said. “It is being able to work on my own, having it for myself and working for myself.”
She broke her hand in November and was only able to return just before the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships, where she won a gold medal in the 51-kilogram division.
The hand injury didn’t stop her from training.
“I had good partners who allowed me to continue wrestling with them. I wasn’t able to fully do doings and I had to transfer things to my other side,” she said. “It helped to be able to do things on both sides.”
She went into OFSAA confident but not overconfident.
“I knew that I would do well. I just didn’t know how well I would do.”
On the first day of the provincial championships, Grieve won all her matches and on her second day, she won, lost and won.
The loss came in the semifinals.
“It wasn’t close but I did what I needed to work on in that match. I ended up happy with it.”
She ended up winning the bronze medal by pinning her opponent one and a half minutes into the match.
She would love to say having the bronze medal hung around her neck was memorable but it wasn’t.
“I don’t really remember it. I was there and it was just happening. It still hasn’t sunk in.”
Grieve feels there were a number of factors that helped her bring home that bronze.
“It was knowing that I can’t change the result of how things turn out. I just have to wrestle, work on what I need to work on and hope that it turns out in my favour.”
Her biggest improvements in the past year have come in her mindset to the sport.
“I was going into matches knowing what I had to do and what I had to work on and not worrying about what the ref called or what I can’t physically change in that moment.”
It was also important for her not to focus on the draw.
“This is what I have been given and this is what I have to do to work towards where I want to be.”
She started wrestling in Grade 8 with the Brock Junior Badgers and made it to OFSAA in Grade 9. A top 10 finish that year gave her valuable experience for 2023.
“I wasn’t as nervous because I had done big tournaments like that before. I knew what it was like.”