Carol Huynh

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Carol Huynh
Carol Huynh.jpg
Huynh in 2009
Personal information
Born (1980-11-16) 16 November 1980 (age 40)
Hazelton, British Columbia
Height154 cm (5 ft 1 in)
Weight52 kg (115 lb)
ClubDinos Wrestling Club[1]
Updated on July 2012.

Carol Huynh (/ˈwɪn/;[2] born 16 November 1980) is a retired Canadian freestyle wrestler.[3] Huynh was the first gold medalist for Canada in women's wrestling and was the first gold medallist for Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is also the 2010 Commonwealth Games and two time Pan American Games champion. She has also achieved success at the world championships where Huynh has totaled one silver and three bronze medals. Huynh is also an eleven time national champion.[1]

Following the 2012 Olympics, Huynh retired from competition and started coaching the University of Calgary Dinos wrestling team.[1] Huynh was elected to the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.[1] In early 2015 she was selected as a United World Wrestling Super 8 Ambassador for the global campaign focusing on the development of women in wrestling and has also served as the Chair of the United World Wrestling Athletes Commission from 2013 to 2017.[1] As of 2020 she is the current coach of Wrestling Canada's Next Gen team based in Calgary.[1]


Huynh broke onto the international scene as a wrestler beginning at the World Championships in 2000 where she won bronze.[1] She continued to build on this success at the next World Championships in 2001 where she won silver. She would have to wait four more years till she would medal again at the Worlds when she won a bronze again in 2005. Success never dropped off though, Huynh would win the title in her 48 kg weight class at the 2007 Pan American Games.[1]

She competed in the 48 kg weight class at the 2008 Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal.[4] This broke Canada's gold medal drought at the 2008 Games.[5] She is the second ever female medallist for Canada in Olympic wrestling, after Tonya Verbeek, the 2004 Athens freestyle silver medallist.[6] Huynh was the first gold medallist in women's wrestling for Canada.

Following the Olympic games she continued to perform at a top level, winning bronze at the 2010 World Championships. That same year she won the Commonwealth Games title.[1] Huynh then won the 2011 Canadian title again for 48 kg and then successfully defended her Pan Am Games title in Guadalajara. She was named to the 2012 Summer Olympics team in London for Canada.[7] There she won a second Olympic medal, this time a bronze in the 48 kg class.[8]

Coaching and leadership[edit]

In 2013, after retiring from competitive wrestling and being inducted to the FILA (renamed in 2014 as United World Wrestling) Hall of Fame,[1] she was appointed as a chairwoman to the international wrestling federation.[9] On 8 December 2015, Huynh was named Canada's assistant chef de mission for Rio Olympics.[10] She was inducted into the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.[11] Since 2015 and as of December 2020, Huynh has served as Wrestling Canada's Next Gen coach based out of Calgary.[1]


Huynh was born in British Columbia to parents who were ethnic Chinese refugees from northern Vietnam. Her father was born in China, but moved to Vietnam when he was three; her mother was born in Vietnam.[12][13] They settled in the town of New Hazelton, British Columbia, after being sponsored by the local United Church.[14] Coming from a wrestling family, where both of her sisters wrestled, she started wrestling at 15.[15] She started studies at Simon Fraser University in 1998,[3] then moved to the University of Calgary in 2007.[6] Huynh married Dan Biggs, a social worker and former wrestler, in 2005.[16] She was coached by Paul Ragusa, former National team member and Olympian, as well as Leigh Vierling, ex-husband of former World Champion Christine Nordhagen.[17]

Competition Record[edit]

Competition Event Result Notes
1999 Junior Worlds 46 kg (female) 7th [3][16]
2000 Junior Worlds 46 kg (female) 9th [3][16]
2000 FILA Senior World Championships 46 kg Freestyle (female) Bronze [3][16]
2001 FILA Senior World Championships 46 kg Freestyle (female) Silver [3][16]
2002 FILA Senior World Championships 44 kg Freestyle (female) 5th [3][16]
2002 NAIA 48 kg women Champion Carol Huynh was also the tournament MVP, and came out of it ranked #1 in CIS and NAIA rankings.[18]
2002 Canadian senior wrestling championships Champion [19]
2003 World Cup 44 kg Bronze [3][16]
2003 Canadian senior wrestling championships Champion [19]
2004 Canadian Olympic trials 2nd Carol Huynh was an alternate for the wrestling contingent at the 2004 Olympics. She had finished second to Lyndsay Belisle. At the time, she was ranked #1 at 48 kg in NAIA and CIS rankings.[16][20][21][19]
World Cup 2004 48 kg Freestyle (female) Bronze
2005 Summer Universiade Gold (University World Championships)[3][16]
2005 FILA Senior World Championships 48 kg Freestyle (female) Bronze [3][16]
2005 Canadian senior wrestling championships 48 kg women Champion [22]
2006 Kiev International 1st [23]
2006 Golden Grand Prix 1st [3]
2006 Canada Cup 2nd [23]
2006 World Cup 48 kg Freestyle (female) Silver [3]
2006 FILA Senior World Championships 5th [3][16]
2006 CIS Champion [24]
2006 Canadian senior wrestling championships 48 kg women Champion [23]
2007 Pan Am 48 kg Freestyle (female) Gold [3][16][24]
2007 FILA Senior World Championships 48 kg Freestyle (female) 5th Carol Huynh lost the bronze medal match 3–4, 4–1, 1–1 to Mayelis Caripa-Castillo[3][16][25]
2008 Canadian Olympic trials 48 kg Freestyle (female) 1st Carol Huynh wins a spot on the Olympic team against Erica Sharp[26]
2008 Canada Cup withdrew The Canadian women's Olympic wrestling team were slated to compete, but withdrew to rest up for the Olympics. The Canada Cup is a mandatory event in non-Olympic years.[27]
2008 Summer Olympics 48 kg Freestyle (female) Gold First Canadian to win a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[5]
2010 Commonwealth games 48 kg Freestyle (female) Gold
2011 Pan Am 48 kg Freestyle (female) Gold
2012 Summer Olympics 48 kg Freestyle (female) Bronze [8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Carol Huynh COC profile". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
  2. ^ Christie, James (16 August 2008). "A three-medal outburst". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Carol Huynh". Canadian Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Roll call: Canada's medal winners". Sympatico MSN. 23 August 2008. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  5. ^ a b, "Huynh wins Canada's first gold" Archived 24 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Reuters, 17 August 2008
  6. ^ a b Television SRC, Pekin 2008, 15 August 2008 broadcast
  7. ^ TSN, "Top 12 Canadian reasons to watch London in 2012",, 2012-04-18 (accessed 2012-05-29)
  8. ^ a b MSN News Canada, "Canada's Carol Huynh wins wrestling bronze", CBC Sports, 12 August 2012
  9. ^ "Wrestling Appoints Third Woman to Governing Body".
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Canada's Sports Hall of Fame". Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Woman wrestler guarantees Canada its first medal" Archived 26 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Vancouver Sun. (accessed 16 August 2008)
  13. ^ "Wrestler Huynh wins Canada's first gold" Archived 12 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine Ottawa Citizen.
  14. ^ Gary Kingston "Carol Huynh: The Hope of Hazelton." National Post. Saturday, 16 August 2008.
  15. ^ Cariboo Press, Carol Huynh is going for the gold in wrestling Archived 1 January 2013 at, 11 March 2008 (accessed 17 August 2008)
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Carol Huynh". Canadian Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
  17. ^ CBC Television Olympic Morning 16 August 2008 @ 6:15am EST
  18. ^ Vancouver Sun, Nothing can stop her now Archived 8 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Dan Stinson, Wednesday, 5 February 2003 (accessed 17 August 2008)
  19. ^ a b c Canadian Sport News Online Sport Performance Weekly (accessed 17 August 2008)
  20. ^ Simon Fraser University Athletics news, Eight Clan athletes to compete in Beijing Archived 21 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 17 August 2008)
  21. ^ Simon Fraser University Magazine, Our Next World Champion? Archived 2 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine May 2003 (accessed 17 August 2008)
  22. ^ Macari and Verbeek Win 2005 Senior Nationals 15 May 2005 (accessed 17 August 2008)
  23. ^ a b c Canadian Olympic Committee, 2007 Pan Am Profiles[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ a b TSN Sports Centre 16 August 2008 – 2:00am EST edition
  25. ^ Associated Press, Canada's Huynh loses out on world wrestling bronze Archived 22 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 21 September 2007 (accessed 17 August 2008)
  26. ^ Brock University Verbeek and Azarbayjani capture gold at Olympic Trials Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Shawn Whiteley 17 December 2007 (accessed 17 August 2008)
  27. ^ CBC Olympics, Olympians not in action at Canada Cup Tuesday, 5 August 2008 (accessed 17 August 2008)

External links[edit]

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Irini Merleni (UKR)
Olympic Champion
48kg Freestyle – Women

Succeeded by
Hitomi Obara (JPN)
Preceded by
2008 Olympic medallist
48 kg Freestyle Wrestling

Succeeded by
Chiharu Icho (JPN)