Sports Spotlight: Tanefeu Twins

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 8:46 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Christian and Wilfried Tanefeu moved to Bismarck from Cameroon six years ago. Since their arrival, the twins have been quick studies on the wrestling mat.

The Tanefeu’s came from not knowing the sport existed, to developing into two of the best wrestlers in the state.

“I didn’t even know what it was I came home looked it up and saw WWE I had to chuckle with that, but I decided I am going to step out of my comfort zone in a new place so why not try it out and it ended up being the best decision I have ever made,” Wilfried Tanefeu, Bismarck senior, said.

Wilfried started wrestling in the 8th grade. After seeing his brother’s early success, Christian joined him in high school.

“I joined later on because my brother he was doing it and he was like if they can do it I can do it too so that’s what got me started into it,” said Christian Tanefeu.

Like most brother relationships, things can get heated but that competitiveness between the siblings has helped drive their success.

“We are still competitive when we get home, we still argue like no, I got the takedown! and so, it doesn’t end just because we leave the wrestling room the competitiveness stays there. You know Iron sharpens Iron, so I feel like him and I when we wrestle it’s just making each other better in every single way so it’s good,” said Christian.

That in-house rivalry has earned the twins two individual state titles and one Cadet national title for each. They both will be going for a third state championship later this month.

“That third title would really mean a lot because I want to show people that you can achieve anything that you put your mindset to even though you didn’t start early coming in my sophomore year trying to get my first title it wasn’t an easy road but throughout the adversity, I still battled through it and got the job done so I want to show people you can achieve your goals it’s never too late,” said Christain Tanefeu.

After graduating, the Tanefeu tandem will continue their wrestling careers in the Big 10, at the University of Michigan. Mark Lardy could not imagine a situation where the twins would be split up.

“It would be really weird for us as a coaching staff to see them separate because they have been their best work out partners so the two of them together is definitely the reason why they both have increased at the level that they have,” said Mark Lardy, BHS Co-Head Coach.

Wilfried knows having his brother at the same university will help him remain focused.

“That’s definitely a big part of it because I know once we go off to college there is going to be all these distractions, but I know him, and I can keep what we need to do to keep the work done and keep doing what we need to be doing just like we have been doing in high school,” said Wilfried Tanefeu

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