Five-time Canadian Interuniversity Sport wrestling gold medalist, and current University of Alberta Pandas’ wrestling assistant coach Ali Bernard, who hails from New Ulm, Minn., has been named by USA Wrestling as its nominee for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in women’s freestyle wrestling at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.
A graduate of New Ulm High School in Minnesota, Bernard won five CIS gold medals competing for the University of Regina and the University of Alberta (2009-10). After her time as a competitor, she chose to remain with the Pandas’ wrestling team to complete her schooling and serve as an assistant coach. She helped lead the U of A’s women’s wrestling program to their first ever CIS team title (2010-11) and their first ever Canada West team title (2011-12).
The 26-year old Bernard, a graduate of the U of A (Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation), placed fifth at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. She placed third in the 2011 World Championships and also competed in the 2009 World Championships.
She was a two-time Junior World champion (2003 and 2005) and won a 2012 University World Championships gold medal.
It was Bernard who qualified the United States to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games at the 72 kg/158.5 lbs class when she won the World bronze medal at her weight class in the 2011 World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 72 kg/158.5 lbs. weight class in women’s wrestling will be contested on Thursday, August 9 at the ExCel Center in London, England.