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Ribau twins developing into their own thanks to university
In society, twins are perceived as being the exact same person. They walk alike, talk alike, have the same DNA and, some of the time, they even have very similar personalities. When growing up, this perception can define who they are. 

University is the time in a young person’s life that many believe is the most formative; you learn and develop from that teenager to young adult and in the case of curling twins Sabrina Ribau (U of T) and Laurier’s Bridget Ribau, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered for both of them - to find their way as individuals. 

“Twins need to spend more time apart as kids so that they can develop their own identity. We’ve also both really learned that you have to take risks and put yourself out there to capture new opportunities,” said Sabrina.  

During the Brock University Invitational on January 20, it marked the first time the two faced off. Sabrina’s team came away with the 6-5 victory, but a rematch at the OUA championships in Sault Ste. Marie this week is now set.

Instead of bringing the twin magic to one University, the time apart allowed them to develop as their own person, but they do maintain a strong relationship to this day.

“We have a pretty solid Snapchat streak when we’re apart. When Bridget left for Laurier, the next morning I woke up to 150 seconds of Snapchat videos,” explained Sabrina. “As a twin, you grow up having someone to whom you can tell all the insignificant things that happen throughout the day, and we’ve kept that going in a way with Snapchat and the odd ranting phone call. We’re more like sisters than stereotypical twins.”

One of the biggest stereotypes associated with twins is the special mental connection. 

“The odd time you just get a feeling – Bridget describes it as a twin aura - where the other's not doing well. We can't think of any specific experiences but it definitely has happened,” Sabrina noted. “In a non-emotional example, we were about 14 and I once made a completely no-look catch of a tangerine that Bridget had thrown at me. I did not know that she'd thrown it at me when I suddenly reached up to catch it.”

Sports and education is a key part to their lives, especially curling. Their dad saw an ad for an open house at the Oakville Curling Club in the newspaper when the twins were seven years old. The friendships they built during their 14 years at the club kept them in the sport.

The two are majoring in very similar programs right now. Sabrina is in kinesiology at U of T, while Bridget’s studying kinesiology and physical education at Laurier. The balance between academics with sports is a challenge at times, but an aspect neither would change.

“It can definitely be challenging at times but it's important to realize why you're at school in the first place,” said Bridget, who was named a U SPORTS academic all-Canadian in 2015-16. “Growing up we always played two or three sports a season so I've gotten used to having a lot on my plate and managing my time. It's allowed me to fit in everything I need to do.” 

Sabrina is in the same boat and prefers a lot on her plate. 

“I work best when I have a lot on the go,” said Sabrina. “It's not always easy and it takes a lot of careful planning, but I definitely think I'm a better student and a more well-rounded individual when I play sports and stay involved in extracurricular activities - like founding the U of T chapter of Team Up Against Concussions (a concussion education program that I learned about from Bridget's involvement in the Laurier chapter) - so it's worth all of the effort.”

Sabrina and Bridget are enjoying their university experiences, while learning a ton about themselves. Once the first rock is thrown at the conference championships all bets are off between the two competitive twins.  

“We’re both pretty focused on the task at hand but naturally a few chirps will be exchanged throughout the game.”

The Ribau’s will have to wait for their last round robin matches to square off. The Toronto Varsity Blues and Laurier Golden Hawks do battle on Sunday, February 18 at 9 a.m.
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