Competition is great. Cooperation is even better.

Ms. Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko, the highest-ranking female politician in Russia, the former governor of Saint Petersburg and the current Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation expressed “Everyone in my country understands that Russia cannot do without Europe and that, vice versa, Europe cannot do without Russia. We depend on cooperation.

Arguably the most competitive female submission wrestling environment was found at DWW in the 1990’s. One of the competitors that had one of the longest careers was the beautiful girl Barbara who seemed to embody the spirit of cooperation. article - DWW photo article – DWW photo

Whenever she competed there was a smile on her face and a glow in her persona.

Barbara seemed to prefer to compete at the larger events but even in singles her resume boasted a legion of DWW greats including Kriszta, Michaela, Wendy, Katka, Luzia, Daniela, Edita, Petra, Antonia, and Denise.

Her matches were high energy, aggressive and hard fought. She loved pins and submissions and her favorite finishing move was the body scissors. article - DWW photo article – DWW photo

When we look at her life interests, like her wrestling matches they are varied and exciting. Like many of us, her favorite actor is Bruce Willis, she loves good food and wine and in terms of physical activities she enjoys horseback riding and cycling.

One of the enjoyable aspects of covering the accomplishments of the DWW girls is that their interests and hobbies can take us all over the world. Since their formidable group wrestled near Vienna, let’s peddle there and take a look at the recreational blast of bike riding in this Austrian paradise.

First the basics. article - wikimedia photo article – wikimedia photo

The world’s great information source Wikipedia shares, “Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria’s primary city, with a population of about 1.757 million (2.4 million within the metropolitan area, more than 20% of Austria’s population), and its cultural, economic, and political center.

It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I the city had 2 million inhabitants.

Today it is the second only to Berlin in German speakers.

Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also said to be “The City of Dreams” because it was home to the world’s first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud.

In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first (in a tie with Vancouver, Canada) for the world’s most livable cities (in the 2012 survey of 140 cities Vienna was ranked number two, behind Melbourne).” article - wikimedia photo article – wikimedia photo

Thank you Wikipedia for the basics, now like Barbara so often did, let’s take a bike ride.

The fantastic travel site guides us. “You can travel fast with a bicycle, but still slowly enough to enjoy Vienna’s sights on the way. Vienna offers 1.200 kilometers of bicycle paths, some of them in areas with hardly any traffic.

Explore Vienna by bicycle: whether you bring your own or rent one, the city has a lot to offer to bicyclists. We have collected a few tips for your bicycling tour through the metropolis on the Danube, such as where you can rent a bicycle or get one repaired, at what times you are allowed to take it on Vienna’s public transportation system, and when guided city tours are offered for bicyclists. You can even go mountain biking in the Vienna Woods. article - wikimedia photo article – wikimedia photo

The famous bicycle path along the Danube leads from Germany through Austria to Hungary. Many bicyclists arrive in Vienna via this route, either for a stopover or as their final destination. To reach the center from the Danube Bicycle Path in the northern part of the city, in Nussdorf, turn onto the Danube Canal Bicycle Path and proceed to Urania-Sternwarte.

The hills of the woods border the city in the north and west. The most exciting mountain bike tours around Vienna can be found at – from easy family trails to challenging power routes. With description of routes and sketches, tips and news. All routes are clearly marked.

Over 130 Viennese hotels and pensions of all categories gladly accommodate bicyclists. They offer locked parking areas free of charge, bicycle repair and special information for bicyclists.” article - wikimedia photo article – wikimedia photo

No wonder Barbara was in such great shape.

Her legion of fans were happy to express praise regarding her grappling. This one is regards to her match with Michaela, “Two big women in a one sided match. Barbara is better all the way.”

Here’s another after her match with Katka. “Ahh…the joy of seeing yet another Barbara catfight! She does not disappoint…it’s easy to forget how the “early” girls really went for the hair and dominance. Some of the best early catfights are Barbara’s, when she was a teen.”

Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off ”.………Franklin D. Roosevelt

From starting as a teen and wrestling for over ten years in a very competitive environment speaks to another skill that Barbara possessed in terms of cooperating. This raises a question. Competitive environments bring out the best in terms of production so between the two, cooperation and competition, why is cooperation more important to team success?

The respected news source explains, “Evidence from experiments in psychology and economics, to anthropology and evolutionary biology, shows that co-operation has been more important to our evolution, and so to who we are, than competition. It is only through co-operation that we create more effective solutions to complex challenges.”

The website provides more enlightenment. “When individuals or parties enter into a negotiation process to resolve conflict, they will bring a certain orientation to the table in their effort to settle the conflict. The two most basic orientations people adhere to when entering into negotiations are cooperative or competitive. A cooperative approach aligns with the process of , which leads parties to seek solutions.”

Much can be learned from watching any competitive sports environment and the process becomes even more enjoyable when the combatants are beautiful female wrestlers.

In terms of class, skill and style, we learned much from watching Barbara’s matches. In terms of career longevity and cooperation, we learned even more.

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Sources:, Wikipedia,,, FCI Elite Competitor,,,,, photos thank you DWW and Wikimedia Commons.