SSHoF logoBruce Waldner

Athlete (2001)


Bruce Waldner Bruce Waldner was an outstanding wrestler at the University of Saskatchewan, 1985 through 1988, winning the 80 kilogram division four times at the Canada West championships four times, the CIAU championship twice, and was voted the outstanding wrestler in both Canada West and the CIAU tournament in 1987.

Bruce was born in Saskatoon on Jan. 23, 1965, attended elementary school at Montgomery and then moved into high school at Mount Royal.

As a high school wrestler, he won the Saskatchewan 77 kilo class in 1981 and moved up into the 81-kilo class in his Grade 12 year, again winning the Saskatchewan title in the championships, which were held at Bedford Road gymnasium. Bruce was a member of Saskatchewan's team at the 1983 Canada Winter Games, suffering a broken jaw, but he went on, even with the broken jaw, to win Saskatchewan and Canadian juvenile championships. He also participated for Canada in the World Elite Junior Games.

He made the University of Saskatchewan team in 1985, winning his first Canada West title and as well he won the Saskatchewan junior championship, took silver at the Canadian nationals and joined the Canadian junior world team, getting a chance to wrestle in Italy and Romania. At the world junior championships held at Colorado Springs he finished in seventh place in his division that year.

He repeated as Canada West champion in 1986, took bronze at the nationals, won three invitational meets and was sixth at the Canada Cup, which was Canada's only international meet that year.

While winning both the Canada West and Canadian university titles in 1987, he became the only one ever to win the outstanding award at each of the meets. He was named to the university's first-ever all-academic team, named Saskatchewan wrestler of the year and won the Western Canada games championship.

Bruce repeated as Canada West and Canadian university champions in 1988, was voted the university's outstanding wrestler and won the Saskatchewan Open title again.

In 1989 and 1990, Bruce won the Huskie Open and Saskatchewan open meets but during his final two years, he was plagued by injuries and eventually had to give up the game.

With two degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and one from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, Bruce has pursued teaching as a career and he taught in Japan in 1989. He married Bobbi Thoen, a two-time national high jump champion and university record holder in August 1991. Bruce's mother, Ennis, was also been inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.