Stephanie Mould in her training room at home. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

From the Cowichan Valley to Mongolia

Wrestling takes Duncan’s Stephanie Mould to Ulaanbaatar

The Naadam festival in Mongolia is a massive national celebration, believed to have existed for centuries, held throughout the country, and focused around three traditional sports: wrestling, horse racing and archery.

Cowichan Valley wrestler Stephanie Mould was in Mongolia for Naadam this July, but not to participate in the wrestling competitions. Although she did get to attend the opening cermony in the national capital, Ulaanbaatar — where the biggest festival is held — Mould was there to train under Mongolia’s world-renowned wrestling coaches.

“Their whole culture is so involved in wrestling,” Mould commented. “It’s such a big part of their culture and traditions to do combat sports.”

Appropriately, the vast majority of Mongolia’s 26 Olympic medals have come in combat sports, including nine in wrestling, eight in judo and seven in boxing. The coaches Mould worked with included an Olympic bronze medallist, a Junior Olympics bronze medallist, and medallists at the Asian Games.

Mould made the two-week trip to Mongolia with members of the Canadian cadet and junior teams, and two coaches who are also members of the senior national team. The opportunity was open to wrestlers who placed at both the provincial and national championships, so Mould put her name in for consideration.

The Canadian wrestlers went to five different training clubs in Ulaanbaatar, training twice a day under Mongolia coaches. The second week was more structured than the first as the Canadians were joined by the Korean senior national team.

“We focused a lot on small adjustments that make so much of a difference,” Mould recalled. “Practicing those over and over and over.”

The coaches from Mongolia didn’t speak English, but one Mongolian coach who moved to Canada 10 years ago was able to serve as a translator. The athletes and coaches found other ways to communicate as well.

“We used hand signals and a couple of words they had learned,” Mould said.

Having graduated from Cowichan Secondary School in June and wrapped up her career with the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club, Mould will head to Simon Fraser University at the end of August. She was recruited by several universities, but picked SFU both because it is close to home and for its highly regarded program.

“It felt like going there gives me the best chance to go far in wrestling,” she said. “They’ve produced a lot of good wrestlers, especially female wrestlers.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Duncan’s Stephanie Mould was in Mongolia for the huge Naadam sports festival in July. (Stephanie Mould photo)

Stephanie Mould in Mongolia last month. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Mary Lowther column: Attracting beneficial insects to the garden

If we’re lucky, our own oases of pesticide-free gardens and farms will continue to buzz

Snag hit in Lake Cowichan’s A.B. Greenwell property transfer

“We ran into a brick wall,” confirmed Lake Cowichan chief administrative officer Joe Fernandez.

Business notes: Duncan’s Sands Funeral Chapel in the pink for Pink Shirt Day

Staff at Sands Funeral Chapel are wearing pink to demonstrate how important the anti-bullying day is

‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ sets high bar for Chemainus Theatre season

The script is perfect for Chemainus’s small stage

Thieves steal 6-foot gas pump from Duncan yard

Theft took place overnight on Feb. 6 or into the early morning hours of Feb. 7.

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, so barricades should come down

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett standing by to return to Smithers

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

New Jamie Bacon trial for counselling to commit murder charge set for March 3

The trial is set to start on March 3 at B.C. Supreme Court

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Most Read