At 5 a.m. on the day of her recent wrestle-off against Linda Morais, Brock Wrestling Club member Olivia Di Bacco was a mess.
“I felt sick to my stomach and had so much anxiety so I talked to the Lord and was really honest,” the 31-year-old Orillia native said. “I told God that I really wanted to wrestle well today and this is the result I would like but regardless of whether that result happens, I will walk off the mat having wrestled without fear.”
She knew she had put all the preparation in to do well and she felt good both mentally and physically.
To ready herself for the day, Di Bacco listened to a worship song and ‘talked to the Lord.’
“I thanked him for the opportunity in front of me. The anxiety didn’t go away but I felt this sense that OK, God is good no matter the outcome. God will be glorified no matter the outcome.”
Faith has always been an integral part of Di Bacco’s wrestling career.
“I feel that God shows up for me and teaches me a lot through the sport of wrestling. I am always amazed at what he teaches me in challenging situations.”
Thankfully she went into the match to decide who would represent Canada at the upcoming world championships feeling like herself.
“That was such a gift. There are so many times in sport where you don’t feel like yourself and you come off the mat disappointed because you didn’t wrestle up to your capacity. I felt like that didn’t happen on Saturday.”
Before the 68-kilogram match began, she knelt down at the edge and offered one final prayer. But it wasn’t about the result.