After 24 hours of international outrage, the head of the International Olympic Committee says he’s hearing the message from wrestling fans.
Tuesday an IOC board recommended cutting wrestling from the summer games beginning in 2020.
Wednesday the President of the IOC Jacques Rogge said wrestling’s fate is far from sealed right now. “First of all, wrestling will participate at the Games of Rio De Janeiro. So to the athlete who trains now, I say continue training for participation in Rio and I’m saying your federation is working towards the inclusion in the 2020 Games,” Rogge said.
Even so, Iowan’s aren’t taking the threat of dropping their sport lying down.
Congressman Dave Loebsack is part of a group introducing a resolution in the
U.S. House showing opposition to the decision to drop wrestling.
Loebsack said,” The decision by the international Olympic committee to drop wresting is baffling. The history of collegiate and Olympic wrestling runs through Iowa. From Dan Gable and Tom Brands to Cael Sanderson and Jake Varner, Iowa has represented the sport with determination and the hard work it takes to succeed in life and sport.” The resolution will be filed in the coming days.
Congressmen Bruce Braley did his part by sending a letter to Rogge asking the IOC to rethink their decision.
“Wrestling’s historical and international importance across hundreds of years should not be so arbitrarily dismissed by the Olympic Committee. Wrestling is more than a sport. It has broken down diplomatic barriers during times of international crisis like the Cold War and the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and brings deeper understanding to citizens of many different cultures and nations. That’s at the heart of the Olympic movement and what it means,” said Braley.
A final decision on the sports fate will be made by the full IOC in September.