The Open Mat Forum

Wrestling => International => Topic started by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 01:59:28 PM

Title: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 01:59:28 PM
Use this thread to post articles about the battle to save Olympic Wrestling.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 01:59:48 PM
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
02/18/2013

A committee of highly-respected leaders within the American wrestling community has been formed, whose mission is to insure that wrestling remains as a core sport of the Olympic Games.

The group is called the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW), and is chaired by Bill Scherr of Glenview, Ill., a World champion and Olympic medalist in freestyle wrestling, who help spearhead the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid effort and is a top businessman in the financial services industry.

Named as the spokesman for CPOW is Mike Novogratz of New York, N.Y., a highly respected business leader who was the Team Leader for the 2012 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team, the chairman of Beat the Streets in New York and a top college wrestler for Princeton.

John Bardis of Alpharetta, Ga. was selected by the committee to serve as Director of Development and Finance. Bardis served as the Team Leader for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman Team and is also a major business leader. Bardis was a successful high school and college wrestler.

The committee was created by USA Wrestling to develop and execute a successful strategy, which will result in wrestling being named as a core sport for the 2020 Olympic Games and beyond. This week, the International OIympic Committee’s Executive Board recommended that wrestling not be included as a core sport for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Joining Novogratz and Bardis on the committee as wrestling leaders who are successful businessmen include Andy Barth of San Marino, Calif., Jeff Levitetz of Boca Raton, Fla., Art Martori of Phoenix, Ariz. and USA Wrestling president James Ravannack of Metairie, La.

Also on the committee is sports executive Jim Scherr of Colorado Springs, Colo. Currently Commissioner of a college hockey conference, Scherr was the CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee and a past USA Wrestling Executive Director.

Lee Roy Smith, the Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and a World silver medalist in freestyle serves on the committee. Roger Frizzell, an NCAA All-American and leader in the public relations community is involved, as is Michael DerGarabedian, a successful attorney and past college wrestler.

Wrestling legends who are also members include World and Olympic champions Bruce Baumgartner, Dan Gable and Rulon Gardner, and two-time Olympians Kerry McCoy and Clarissa Chun. They have been successful as leaders off the mat as well.

“We have engaged many of the most connected and brightest minds in our sport, an all-star leadership group. We have a great opportunity to show the world why wrestling belongs on the Olympic program,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender, who is also a CPOW member.

COMMITTEE FOR THE PRESERVATION OF OLYMPIC WRESTLING (CPOW)

Committee members
Chairperson – Bill Scherr, Glenville, Ill.
Spokesperson – Mike Novogratz, New York, N.Y.
Director of Development and Finance – John Bardis, Alpharetta, Ga.
Andy Barth, San Marino, Calif.
Bruce Baumgartner, Edinboro, Pa.
Rich Bender, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Clarissa Chun, Columbia, Mo.
Mike DerGarabedian, Rockville Center, N.Y.
Roger Frizzell, Kingston, Okla.
Dan Gable, Iowa City, Iowa
Rulon Gardner, Logan, Utah
Jeff Levitetz, Boca Raton, Fla.
Art Martori, Phoenix, Ariz.
Kerry McCoy, College Park, Md.
James Ravannack, Metairie, La.
Jim Scherr, Colorado Springs, Colo.
John Smith, Stillwater, Okla.
Lee Roy Smith, Stillwater, Okla.

MISSION AND OBJECTIVES

The mission of the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling is to insure that wrestling remains as a core sport of the Olympic Games.

We intend to accomplish this mission by:

• Working with FILA and the international wrestling community to insure that wrestling will remain a core Olympic sport.

• Mobilizing and energizing the wrestling community and the American public to support our mission.

• Leading the effort for solicitation and allocation of volunteer and financial resources for the preservation of Olympic Wrestling

• Raising awareness of the positive values and contributions of wrestling to the Olympic movement

• Working with FILA and the international wrestling community for the continued development and modernization of wrestling

• Joining with like-minded groups globally to unite our efforts to preserve Olympic Wrestling.
http://www.themat.com/section.php?section_id=3&page=showarticle&ArticleID=26084
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 02:06:35 PM

Statement from Acting FILA President Nenad Lalovic to the international wrestling community


Quote
By FILA
02/18/2013

posted on the FILA website on Feb. 18, 2013 by acting FILA President Nenad Lalovic

FILA takes its responsibly very seriously on behalf of all the 180 affiliated National Federations and all the wrestlers in the world. We understand the IOC recommendation and respect the process. As a sport, we are willing to undertake all the necessary steps for our sport to remain on the core program of the Olympic Games.

The world of wrestling is understandably disappointed by the IOC Executive Board’s recommendation to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games program. We see this as an opportunity which could be a positive turning point for our sport. One thing is for certain : it is our responsibility alone to address the issues that led to this situation. We are listening to the IOC’s concerns and learning from their guidance. We must strive to improve our sport’s Olympic offering in order to retain our position on the Olympic program and evolve with the times.

On behalf of FILA and the entire wrestling community, we thank Mr. Raphaël Martinetti for his huge contribution and his lifelong service to the sport.


What an arrogant jackass!  It was his organization that lost the Olympics and now he wants to have the only say in its reinstatement. If this is their attitude we really do need a new governing body.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 02:08:25 PM

Lalovic named interim FILA president with Dziedzic as assistant and Scherr added to FILA Bureau

Quote
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
02/17/2013

FILA, the international wrestling federation, has confirmed that Raphael Martinetti of Switzerland has stepped down as its president during its Executive Board meeting in Phuket, Thailand.

FILA Bureau member Nenad Lalovic of Serbia has been named as acting president. Lalovic currently serves as a member of the European Council of Associated Wrestling (CELA) as well as on FILA’s Ethical and Legal Commission.

A FILA statement indicated that “Mr. Martinetti hopes that this situation will help save wrestling… Mr. Martinetti also wishes plenty of success to Mr. Lalovic for the mission that now rests in his hands.”

FILA Vice President Stan Dziedzic of the United States has been selected by Lalovic as his assistant in the leadership of the organization. Dziedzic, a past USA Wrestling president, was a World champion in men’s freestyle wrestling.

Another decision reached by the FILA was to add three members to the FILA Bureau to participate in the effort to retain wrestling in the Olympic Games: Jim Scherr of the United States, Alexander Kareline of Russia and Pedro Gama Filho of Brazil.

Scherr is currently the Commissioner of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. He served as the CEO of the United States Olympic Committee and is a past Executive Director of USA Wrestling. He was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic men’s freestyle wrestling team and a three-time World medalist.

Kareline is a three-time Olympic champion and four-time Olympic medalist in Greco-Roman, and also won nine World Championship gold medals. He serves in the Duma, which is Russia’s Parliament.

Filho serves as the president of the Brazilian Wrestling Federation, which is the nation which will host the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

The FILA Executive Board meetings continue for one more day in Phuket.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ocianain on February 19, 2013, 03:36:51 PM
I'm puzzled by this post:

"FILA takes its responsibly very seriously on behalf of all the 180 affiliated National Federations and all the wrestlers in the world. We understand the IOC recommendation and respect the process. As a sport, we are willing to undertake all the necessary steps for our sport to remain on the core program of the Olympic Games.

The world of wrestling is understandably disappointed by the IOC Executive Board’s recommendation to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games program. We see this as an opportunity which could be a positive turning point for our sport. One thing is for certain : it is our responsibility alone to address the issues that led to this situation. We are listening to the IOC’s concerns and learning from their guidance. We must strive to improve our sport’s Olympic offering in order to retain our position on the Olympic program and evolve with the times.

On behalf of FILA and the entire wrestling community, we thank Mr. Raphaël Martinetti for his huge contribution and his lifelong service to the sport."

Wasn't it, "...listening to the IOC's concerns and learning from their guidance" that got us here in the first place?
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 03:40:25 PM
I'm puzzled by this post:

"FILA takes its responsibly very seriously on behalf of all the 180 affiliated National Federations and all the wrestlers in the world. We understand the IOC recommendation and respect the process. As a sport, we are willing to undertake all the necessary steps for our sport to remain on the core program of the Olympic Games.

The world of wrestling is understandably disappointed by the IOC Executive Board’s recommendation to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games program. We see this as an opportunity which could be a positive turning point for our sport. One thing is for certain : it is our responsibility alone to address the issues that led to this situation. We are listening to the IOC’s concerns and learning from their guidance. We must strive to improve our sport’s Olympic offering in order to retain our position on the Olympic program and evolve with the times.

On behalf of FILA and the entire wrestling community, we thank Mr. Raphaël Martinetti for his huge contribution and his lifelong service to the sport."

Wasn't it, "...listening to the IOC's concerns and learning from their guidance" that got us here in the first place?
Allow me to translate.

What else should we do to de-legitimize wrestling to please those who wish we weren't around?
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ocianain on February 19, 2013, 03:52:40 PM
Vise, In all seriousness, do you believe the IOC doesn't want us around? Not trying to be smart here, but the action is so over the top I was at a loss for any other explanation myself. I believe the IOC was "Sportsatainment" not sports in the Olympics.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 03:54:46 PM
Vise, In all seriousness, do you believe the IOC doesn't want us around? Not trying to be smart here, but the action is so over the top I was at a loss for any other explanation myself. I believe the IOC was "Sortsatainment" not sports in the Olympics.

What other conclusion could you draw?
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ocianain on February 19, 2013, 03:59:28 PM
None I guess, very depressing to thinks have sunk this low that a foundational sport of the Olympics is declared redundant.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 04:05:40 PM
None I guess, very depressing to thinks have sunk this low that a foundational sport of the Olympics is declared redundant.

If I had to guess, considering the past history of financial impropriety, some sports were bribing officials to keep their sport in and wrestling was the odd man out.  But I dont believe the IOC really anticipated the response they are getting now. And so now they are looking for some face saving move to change their mind.

But its up to the wrestling world to keep the heat upon them until they change this decision.  Yet what we dont want to do is sell our soul to stay in the games.

Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 19, 2013, 05:28:51 PM
An article from Slate


Quote
Last month Sports Illustrated ran a story celebrating Olympic founder Pierre de Coubertin’s 150th birthday and his legacy, written by current head of the International Olympic Committee, Count Jacques Rogge. Rogge trumpets the Herculean effort put in by Coubertin and the values embodied in the Olympic Charter, and says that the IOC still operates by the values he laid out a century ago. Reading it the other day, certain lines have a different resonance than they might have just a few weeks ago. “Would Coubertin be happy with everything that has transpired since his death in 1937?” Rogge asks. “Of course not.” Well, add another posthumous disappointment to the list.
On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee issued a press release announcing the 25 “core sports” they were recommending for the 2020 Olympics. They also revealed the eight “shortlisted sports” that were now “vying for inclusion.” Those eight? Baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding, wushu—and wrestling. The IOC will decide in the spring which three of these sports to recommend for the 2020 games, and the IOC’s entire caucus will then convene in September to rule on which sports to approve in the final decision.
While partisans of wakeboarding and wushu were no doubt disappointed by the news, no one was as outraged as wrestling enthusiasts—and for good reason. Wrestling was not only featured at the first modern Olympics in 1896 (and at every summer Olympics since 1908) but was a major part of the ancient Olympics as well, going back to 708 B.C. (At the ancient games, it was both a standalone event and the culminating contest in the pentathlon.) And it’s not some provincial pastime that only the Greeks were fond of either: There’s evidence for wrestling across the ancient world—the activity shows up, for instance, in both the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis. Nearly every culture has some form of wrestling, from Bökh in Mongolia to Glima in Iceland. For a more recent example of how wrestling crosses cultures, consider that this week the Times of Israel ran an AP story datelined in Tehran about how devastated Iranians are about the potential loss of the Olympic sport. In Iran, wrestling is both the national sport and a symbol of ethical conduct and fairness. Meanwhile, a headline in wrestling hotbed Iowa read, “Worse than death.” As Missouri’s Brian Smith, college coach of 2008 Olympian Ben Askren said to me, “Name one issue where the U.S. and Iran would be on the same page: It’s wrestling.”
So what happened? The IOC has a list of 39 criteria under which they supposedly evaluated the core sports, grouped into the categories of reciprocal value, governance, tradition, universality, popularity, international development, and finance. As the University of Nebraska’s Bryan Snyder, coach of Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs, said to me, “When you have a list of criteria, that should preclude the politics. Each sport could be evaluated on its merits.” But it’s hard to look at that set of criteria and conclude that wrestling failed to make the cut purely on those terms.
Wrestling has a list of affiliates in 177 countries and enjoyed sell-out crowds in the London games. As Jim Litke of the AP pointed out this week, the sport “generates twice the TV audience worldwide” of the modern pentathlon, an event many expected to be dropped, but which was spared from possible exclusion. As Litke notes, the vice president of the modern pentathlon’s governing body sits on the IOC board. (That vice president, Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., is also the son of the late, long-serving IOC president.) The modern pentathlon was created by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, and so it, too, has some tradition on its side—just not the millennia of tradition that wrestling enjoys.
Did Samaranch save the modern pentathlon? Perhaps. Was badminton spared by the head of the 2020 Evaluation Committee, Sir Craig Reedie, a former doubles champion in the sport who is credited with bringing it to the Olympics just a couple decades ago? Did the presence on the IOC of Jim Easton, “CEO of the leading archery equipment company,” ensure that bows and arrows would be at the 2020 games? It’s impossible for an outside observer not to wonder about such things after the absurd decision regarding wrestling. The IOC, which includes sheiks, counts, dukes, princesses, and members of the Royal Order in addition to businessmen, has plenty of shady backroom politics in its past. As IOC member Richard Carrión of Puerto Rico told the AP, “Some people are better at lobbying than others.” Carrión added that “in a multi-national organization like this decisions get made in ways that are not completely logical.”
Olympic wrestling medalist Bill Scherr said this week that the international wrestling federation, FILA, “does no lobbying with the IOC, does not participate as a good citizen in IOC activities, and does not market itself.” And the IOC is certainly concerned with marketing. The same day that it released its statement about the “core sports” for 2020, it issued a separate press release about the strength of the Olympic brand. The “perception of the Olympic Games and the Olympic brand is very positive,” IOC president Jacque Rogge is quoted as saying in the release. “This trend is particularly evident among young people, which reflects the Games’ relevance in a highly fragmented global broadcasting market.” It’s possible that reps for other sports have been speaking this language better than the defenders of wrestling.
If so, then the proud sense of tradition many wrestlers and wrestling coaches feel could actually work against the efforts they may need to make to keep wrestling an Olympic sport. I spoke to my own former wrestling coach, Mark Faller, an Olympic alternate and coach of the 1984 Olympic gold medalists Ed and Lou Banach. “This move by the IOC will be the call that wakens a sleeping tiger,” he said. “Wrestling has always been blessed with an elegant level of underdeveloped recognition.” But he then expressed concern that wrestling might “transform into the pop culture attraction that it now competes against. God forbid,” he said.
I’m sympathetic to that noble-sounding sentiment, though it may not be the right strategy to engineer a reversal here. Barring serious reform of the IOC, wrestling partisans may need to speak its language. The wrestling community has already begun to campaign against the decision, and the head of FILA is meeting with Rogge to discuss the matter. While lovers of the sport consider their best tactics for survival, lovers of sport in general should once again consider the follies of the IOC.
http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2013/02/olympic_wrestling_dropped_why_the_ioc_makes_dubious_decisions.html
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: pipewrench on February 19, 2013, 09:00:59 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/world/middleeast/iranian-wrestlers-see-big-loss-in-olympics.html?smid=re-share&_r=0
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: mspart on February 19, 2013, 09:11:57 PM
I think that the flowrestling article by Willie is really good.  It shows that Wrestling is THE international sport by participation and medal accolades.  When IOC gets hammered with this and a big bribe, they will have to cave.

mspart
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: pipewrench on February 20, 2013, 09:45:29 AM
I liked it too.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: Rockhard on February 20, 2013, 10:19:53 AM
You guys like willies.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 20, 2013, 10:47:18 AM
Yordanov aka Jordanov


Quote
Yordanov returns gold in protest at wrestling’s demise | Reuters
Posted on February 20, 2013 by admin
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Feb 20 (Reuters) – Bulgarian wrestling federation president Valentin Yordanov sent back his Olympic gold medal from the 1996 Atlanta Games on Wednesday, protesting against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation to drop the sport from the Games.

“As a sign of protest I am returning my gold medal, won at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne,” seven-times world champion Yordanov wrote in a letter to IOC president Jacques Rogge shown at an emotional news conference.

The wrestling world was shocked last week when the IOC made a surprise recommendation to drop the sport from 2020.

“With this act I express my solidarity with the millions of athletes and fans of our sport who are condemning the recommendation of the IOC,” added the 53-year-old, who is also a seven-time European champion.

“Our sport is an integral part of the Olympic movement and one of the foundations of both the ancient and modern Olympics.”

Bulgarian wrestlers have won 16 Olympic titles, making wrestling the most successful sport in the Balkan country.

Yordanov, the only wrestler to win 10 medals at world championships, retired in 1996, soon after winning the gold at the Atlanta Games in the freestyle 52-kg category.

Some of Bulgarian wrestling’s biggest names expressed their support for Yordanov, saying they believed that the IOC would scrap the plans to drop the sport.

Bulgarian Greco-Roman wrestling national team coach Armen Nazarian, a double Olympic champion, said he was considering going on hunger strike in protest.

Yordanov said that IOC president Rogge had achieved something that many politicians had failed to do.

“He unreservedly united Russia, the United States and Iran for a single cause – saving the sport of wrestling, without which the Olympics will never be the same,” Yordanov said.

Contested in the first modern Olympics in 1896 and part of the ancient Games in Olympia, wrestling joins baseball and softball, making a joint bid, martial arts karate and wushu, rollersports, wakeboarding and squash as candidate sports battling for one vacant spot in a revamped programme.

The IOC executive board will meet in St Petersburg in May to determine which of them will be put to the vote in September at the IOC session in Buenos Aires.

Less than a week after the IOC’s recommendation, wrestling’s world governing body (FILA) president Raphael Martinetti resigned.

Wrestling’s surprise exit has been blamed by some on a lack of political support within the IOC executive board, where other sports at risk – including modern pentathlon and taekwondo – had the upper hand with representatives in the 15-member group.

The Bulgarian sports ministry said it would continue to back and fund the domestic wrestling federation regardless of the final IOC decision in September. (Editing by Clare Fallon)
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 20, 2013, 10:51:51 AM
Russia Vows to Reverse Wrestling’s Removal From Olympics – Bloomberg
Posted on February 19, 2013 by admin
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Russia vowed to overturn a decision to exclude wrestling from the 2020 Olympics, saying the move flouts the games’ traditions and the interests of hundreds of millions of fans around the world.

“We will look for a compromise and ways to convince the members of the International Olympic Committee that this sport, which was part of the ancient games and is loved by hundreds of millions of people across the globe, should remain,” Mikhail Mamiashvili, Russia’s representative to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, or FILA, said by phone from Thailand today.

FILA dismissed its president, Raphael Martinetti of Switzerland, two days ago at a meeting in Thailand, after Russia accused him of negligence for failing to prevent the Olympic exclusion. Russia won four of its 24 Olympic gold medals last year in wrestling. Russians dominated the medals count in the sport during the London games, with 11 in total, followed by Azerbaijan and Iran.

Wrestling, which has been in the modern Olympic program since 1896 and was part of the ancient games in Greece, was removed from the “core sports” for the 2020 games, the International Olympic Committee said Feb. 12. Instead, it will vie for a place with karate, roller sports, climbing, squash, wakeboarding and the Chinese martial art of wushu, as well as baseball and softball, which are seeking inclusion under a single sports banner.

No Confidence

Mamiashvili spent half the night trying to persuade colleagues to oust Martinetti, the Russian Wrestling Federation said in a statement on its website on Feb. 16. The move followed a vote of no confidence by the FILA board in Thailand, according to the federation, which Mamiashvili heads.

Martinetti “bears full responsibility for what happened,” Mamiashvili said today. “He completely distanced himself from resolving the problem and didn’t keep the board informed for several years.”

FILA will elect a new head in late April or early May, according to the Russian federation.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: Cougar1 on February 25, 2013, 09:32:57 AM
The best article I've seen on the subject. Telling it like it really is.

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Mike Moran’s Sports Commentary
February 12, 2013   
 
IOC Drops Wrestling From Olympic Games – A Slap In The Face To America’s Athletes And Their Dreams
 
Dan Gable, Bruce Baumgartner, Jeff Blatnick, John Smith, Rulon Gardner, Dave Schultz, Kenny Monday, Cael Sanderson, Colorado Springs’ own Henry Cejudo. Household names and American sport heroes, just part of the list of the 50 American wrestlers who have won Olympic gold since it became one of the original sports at the 1896 Modern Games in Athens.
America has competed in wrestling in every Games other than the star-crossed 1980 Games in Moscow, when the desperate White House and President Jimmy Carter forced the United States Olympic Team to stay home as a matter of “national security,” foolishly dreaming that the threat of an Olympic boycott by America would force Soviet armed forces out of Afghanistan after the December 1979 invasion.
Who knew then it would be Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson and his covert efforts to ultimately send the Soviet forces home in 1989, not the 500 American athletes who were denied the chance to realize their dreams in Moscow and embarrass the USSR on its home turf?
Like three-time world wrestling champion Lee Kemp or world champion Chris Campbell, or Russ Hellickson and Dan Chandler.
The United States has won more Olympic wrestling medals, a total of 125, than any other currently existing nation in Olympic history, and the sport has produced some of the nation’s genuine Olympic heroes.
More than 8,000 men and women wrestle in some 235 NCAA programs, and more than 265,000 boys and girls wrestle in high school programs across America. It’s likely that most of them share a common dream………..to make the United States Olympic Team and win a medal for their family and their country.
Like Henry Cejudo in Beijing in 2008, the child of a Mexican family that entered the United States illegally, with his mother now a United States citizen. He realized the American Dream because of wrestling, and he made the USA proud of him and his struggle to get to the podium. He won a state title at Coronado High and entered the resident athlete program at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center on the way to becoming the youngest American wrestler to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
As of this morning, it is likely that they will never get the chance the chase that dream or stand on the medal podium after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio conclude. In sweaty, small wrestling facilities across America today, the news is reaching girls and boys of all ages. It’s like a death in the family.
Dropping Olympic sports like wrestling has been an easy way for major U.S. colleges to reduce their budgets and continue the never-ending excesses of football and basketball.
What happens now to the schools that have maintained wrestling programs in light of the IOC’s appalling move this morning?
In a shocking move, the International Olympic Committee voted today to drop wrestling from its schedule for the 2020 Games. The unexpected decision to drop a sport where 71 nations participated in London last summer and women’s wrestling was added in 2004 was made via secret ballot during a Tuesday meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, where officials were discussing ways to "streamline" the Olympics.
Now wrestling will have to face off with seven other sports that are fighting for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics, including baseball and softball, which were dropped from the Olympics after Beijing in 2008 and sports trying to make the Olympics for the first time, including karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wake boarding and wushu. Most experienced Olympic media think it is "extremely unlikely" that wrestling would be brought back so soon after the committee voted to eliminate it.
"This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It's not a case of what's wrong with wrestling, it is what's right with the 25 core sports."

Adams said the decision was made by secret ballot over several rounds, with members voting each time on which sport should not be included in the core group. IOC President Jacques Rogge did not vote.
Wrestling was voted out from a final group that also included modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey, officials familiar with the vote told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the voting details were not made public.
Pardon me, no disrespect intended, but wake boarding, wushu (a full contact sport based on Chinese martial arts) and sport climbing would seem to be a better fit in our own Rocky Mountain State Games than the Olympic Games.
Wrestling is known as the world's oldest competitive sport. It dates to cave drawings of wrestling found as far back as 3000 BC and was part of the ancient Olympics in 708 BC. When the modern Games resumed in 1896, wrestling was one of nine sports on the program.
The sport now faces a tough, politically-charged and contentious battle to get back on the Olympic program in 2020 and beyond. The IOC, which has just reached peace and harmony with the United States Olympic Committee over a decade-long issue regarding the split of revenues from American television rights and worldwide sponsorships, takes a step today that is a gut-punch to thousands of American men and women in wrestling, one of our nation’s most popular sports.
"The USOC is an absolutely crucial pillar in the Olympic Movement”, said IOC president Jacques Rogge. “This agreement lays a cornerstone which will provide the foundations for the continued growth of the Movement and our shared values, not just in the United States but around the world," he added.
So now the IOC has dropped wrestling after opening it to women in 2004, dropped softball, where women were excelling from around the world, and canned baseball on the grounds that it would not provide the best athletes in the world from Major League Baseball, as well as the sport’s highly-publicized performance-enhancing drug issues.
It blew off two superb bids by New York and Chicago in their quests to land the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, but the IOC continually mouths its “respect” and admiration for the United States and its magnificent contributions to the Olympic movement.
It’s a brutal morning full of shock, anger and determination at the offices of USA Wrestling in Colorado Springs today, as one can imagine.
"We knew that today would be a tough day for American athletes competing in whatever sport was identified by the IOC Executive Board,” said USOC Chief Executive Scott Blackmun. “Given the history and tradition of wrestling, and its popularity and universality, we were surprised when the decision was announced. It is important to remember that today's action is a recommendation, and we hope that there will be a meaningful opportunity to discuss the important role that wrestling plays in the sports landscape both in the United States and around the world. In the meantime, we will fully support USA Wrestling and its athletes."
With news of the International Olympic Committee deciding to drop wrestling as one of its core Olympic sports in 2020, USA wrestling has created a Facebook page to help support Olympic wrestling. The Facebook page is titled “Keep Wrestling in the Olympics.” The page is intended to be a worldwide effort to inform the International Olympic Committee and the world that wrestling should be an Olympic sport.

USA Wrestling would ask every supporter of wrestling to “like” the “Keep Wrestling in the Olympics” Facebook page and to spread the word to every corner of America’s wrestling community.
This morning, my mind’s eye sees Blatnick rise in triumph on the mat in Los Angeles in 1984 after winning his gold and defeating cancer. I see the faces of those wrestlers on the 1980 Olympic Team that stayed home during USOC ceremonies in Washington at the Capitol and their tears of disappointment. And I see Gardner placing his shoes on the mat in Athens in 2004 in a symbol that he was retiring, just four years after his stunning upset of Russia’s Alexandr Karelin for the gold medal in Sydney.
Now, we are told there may be no more wrestling in the Games after 2016?
Shame on those who made that decision this morning, and their “secret” vote in Lausanne.
Mike Moran was the chief spokesman for the United States Olympic Committee from 1978-2003 and Games from Lake Placid to Salt Lake City. He served as the Sports Information Director at Nebraska-Omaha and Colorado, and has lived in Colorado Springs for 34 years and is the Senior Media Consultant for the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation and keynote speaker and emcee for numerous sports events. mike@thesportscorp.org
 
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 25, 2013, 01:30:00 PM

Quote
Okla. Town Can't Fathom Olympics Without Wrestling

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS Associated Press
PERRY, Okla. February 23, 2013 (AP)
This Oklahoma prairie town expects three things from its boys: Go to church, earn good grades in school and win a state championship in wrestling.

Perry is a place that eats, sleeps and breathes wrestling. A rebuilding year is one when the Perry Maroons only take state by a few points. Former coach John Divine, whose name is on the high school gym, used to tell his boys: "I'm behind you 100 percent — win or draw." And when current coach Ronnie Delk was being considered for the job a couple years ago, he had to explain to the local newspaper why he was the best man for the position because he was an outsider — the first non-Perry alumni since the 1930s to lead the team.

So it has hit residents here particularly hard that the executive board of the International Olympic Committee recently voted to cut the sport from the 2020 Olympics. USA Wrestling, joined by its international counterparts, has since pledged to try to stop the committee from going through with its decision, but whether they can successfully lobby for a reversal is uncertain at best.

"I never dreamed they'd take it out," said Danny Hodge, a local legend who won a silver medal at the 1956 Olympics and, at 80 years old, can still crush an apple in his vise-grip of a right hand. "It means so much for the kids, and now they can't go. I never thought the committee would take out the world's oldest sport."
Hodge, who remembers training for his beloved sport by jogging with a brick in each hand, explains that while other nationally-promoted and better-televised sports have professional leagues and championship games athletes hope to win, going to an Olympics is the pinnacle event for a wrestler.

"It's a shock," he said in his living room, dozens of medals and accolades nearby.

The central Oklahoma town of around 5,200, where the major employer is the headquarters of Ditch Witch trenching machines, seems to exist for a singular purpose: breeding championship-caliber wrestling teams. It's difficult to find someone here who didn't wrestle, or isn't related to or friends with a wrestler past or present. Unlike other high schools across Oklahoma and the country that emphasize football or basketball, wrestling is king here, and boasts its own homecoming celebration and royalty court. Some kids here start training as young as five or six.

"Every boy in this town wants to wear this singlet," said Delk, holding up a maroon wrestling uniform.

Scott Chenoweth, a former coach who led the Maroons to 12 state championships during his tenure and is now school superintendent, described the lofty goals he remembers when he was wrestling here in the mid-1980s:

"It's always expected it's going to be Perry vs. X for state," he says. "That's when it gets rough."

Since 1961, Perry has never gone more than two years without winning a state title. It placed second last year, and that trophy sits in dishonor on a metal folding chair at the entrance to the team's training room, greeting the boys before each practice.

The school's impressive run boasts nearly 40 state championships since 1952, including six straight in the 1960s, 11 in a row from 1971-1981 and eight of the last nine.

Delk said the Maroons are considered the underdogs at this weekend's state finals, but a smile quickly curls across his lips, suggesting he knows something every other coach doesn't: This is Perry, after all, of course they'll pull it off.

Before one of the team's three daily practices, Perry wrestlers described the potential loss of their sport in the Olympics like they would the death of a teammate.

"That hurts. It kind of shoots down your dreams," said senior team captain Austin Allen, 19, who has put his ambitions of wrestling in college on hold for now because of the IOC's decision.

Senior Tevin Williams, 18, who placed a note by his alarm clock this season reminding him that he's "training to be a state champion like there's no tomorrow," described the decision as "heartbreaking."

"That prestige, to say 'I'm the best in the world,' is gone," Williams said.

Mark Kirk, who graduated from Perry High School in 1975 and was state runner-up that year, wrote a 200-page book, The Maroon Dynasty, chronicling the school's incredible run. He said he was "devastated" to hear of the IOC's decision, but offered an optimistic outlook on the sport's endurance — especially in places like Perry, Okla.

"It's a passion for people," Kirk said. "The hardcore wrestlers and wrestling fans are always going to be there. It never is going to fade away."

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/okla-town-fathom-olympics-wrestling-18570242

On a side note. Dont believe a word Delk says about Perry being an underdog. They put 5 in the finals and walked away with the championship  ::)
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: a guest on February 25, 2013, 02:18:27 PM
Transcript from the State Department's daily briefing:

Yesterday, at the end of the briefing, you all really had me pinned down on the wrestling question, so I spent the last 24 hours working on this. And here’s what I know. You all probably already knew this, but on February 12th, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee voted to eliminate wrestling as an Olympic sport beginning in 2020. Our understanding is that there is an appeals process available to the athletes, and that there’s going to be another Executive Board meeting in St. Petersburg in May and a final vote on this in September. So we will see how that process goes forward. I’d also refer you to the statement that the U.S. Olympic Committee put out on this one.

I did want to just note, though, that as you know, U.S. – I mean, wrestling teams from all over the world are currently competing in Tehran in the Freestyle World Cup, and they are staging a demonstration today to show their unity and resolve to try to reverse the Executive Board decision. We understood that they were together having a lay-down in the streets of Tehran today.

You know that we support all our American Olympic athletes. I’d just also note that in the context of the match in Tehran, there were many displays of outstanding sportsmanship in the U.S. and Iran match – I guess it must have been today or yesterday. For example, there were lots of handshakes, there were lots of hugs among the athletes. There was a sellout crowd. It was very loud and enthusiastic. Sadly for us, Iran won the gold, but we did get the bronze.

And with that, let’s go to what’s on your minds.

QUESTION: Can I ask a wrestling question?

QUESTION: Go ahead.

MS. NULAND: I may be at the end of my knowledge, though, Said, even though I worked on this for 24 hours.

QUESTION: I mean, do you think that the Europeans are being a bit snobbish to actually eliminate this sport, considering that a great deal of the Third World, and the United States – I’m not – and Russia and others like that sport?

MS. NULAND: Let me just say that we love all of our athletes. The Olympic Committee’s obviously going to have to make a tough decision because there are so many sports that want to compete. So beyond that, I think we’ll let them do their work.

QUESTION: I’m going to ask the question that I think James Rosen would ask if he were here.

MS. NULAND: Oh, here we go. Do your James Rosen impersonation, please.

QUESTION: Do you not regard this as a travesty?

MS. NULAND: Regard what as a travesty?

QUESTION: The elimination of wrestling from the Olympics. (Laughter.)

MS. NULAND: Well, I know, obviously, how strongly wrestlers and many others around the world feel, but I think we have to let the Olympic Committee do its work. As I said, there are tough decisions to be made. As I understand it, only 28 sports can be competed.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on February 25, 2013, 02:25:36 PM
What a mealy mouthed reply.  >:(
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on March 19, 2013, 11:00:00 AM
Rulon and Cejudo on Leno

"https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=603356243027498"
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: mspart on March 19, 2013, 03:04:41 PM
The IOC is getting killed internationally with this.  It will be interesting to see how they back out of this decision.

mspart
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on March 19, 2013, 10:17:02 PM
Transcript from the State Department's daily briefing:

Yesterday, at the end of the briefing, you all really had me pinned down on the wrestling question, so I spent the last 24 hours working on this. And here’s what I know. You all probably already knew this, but on February 12th, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee voted to eliminate wrestling as an Olympic sport beginning in 2020. Our understanding is that there is an appeals process available to the athletes, and that there’s going to be another Executive Board meeting in St. Petersburg in May and a final vote on this in September. So we will see how that process goes forward. I’d also refer you to the statement that the U.S. Olympic Committee put out on this one.

I did want to just note, though, that as you know, U.S. – I mean, wrestling teams from all over the world are currently competing in Tehran in the Freestyle World Cup, and they are staging a demonstration today to show their unity and resolve to try to reverse the Executive Board decision. We understood that they were together having a lay-down in the streets of Tehran today.

You know that we support all our American Olympic athletes. I’d just also note that in the context of the match in Tehran, there were many displays of outstanding sportsmanship in the U.S. and Iran match – I guess it must have been today or yesterday. For example, there were lots of handshakes, there were lots of hugs among the athletes. There was a sellout crowd. It was very loud and enthusiastic. Sadly for us, Iran won the gold, but we did get the bronze.

And with that, let’s go to what’s on your minds.

QUESTION: Can I ask a wrestling question?

QUESTION: Go ahead.

MS. NULAND: I may be at the end of my knowledge, though, Said, even though I worked on this for 24 hours.

QUESTION: I mean, do you think that the Europeans are being a bit snobbish to actually eliminate this sport, considering that a great deal of the Third World, and the United States – I’m not – and Russia and others like that sport?

MS. NULAND: Let me just say that we love all of our athletes. The Olympic Committee’s obviously going to have to make a tough decision because there are so many sports that want to compete. So beyond that, I think we’ll let them do their work.

QUESTION: I’m going to ask the question that I think James Rosen would ask if he were here.

MS. NULAND: Oh, here we go. Do your James Rosen impersonation, please.

QUESTION: Do you not regard this as a travesty?

MS. NULAND: Regard what as a travesty?

QUESTION: The elimination of wrestling from the Olympics. (Laughter.)

MS. NULAND: Well, I know, obviously, how strongly wrestlers and many others around the world feel, but I think we have to let the Olympic Committee do its work. As I said, there are tough decisions to be made. As I understand it, only 28 sports can be competed.
Maybe they're (US State Dept) getting tired of wrestlers making them look inept.
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: a guest on April 01, 2013, 01:31:01 PM
"Grappler and Bear Hug are being brewed in Bolton to raise the profile of wrestling after it was scrapped from the Olympics. "

http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/10324451.Bank_Top___s_bid_to_give_wrestling_a_fighting_chance/?ref=rss
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: ViseGrip on May 07, 2013, 03:09:54 PM
http://undercardsuperstar.com/2013/02/13/jay-mohrs-incredible-olympic-wrestling-rant-transcribed/
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: Brew on May 07, 2013, 03:47:23 PM
The Mohr dialogue is fantastic!
Title: Re: News in the Fight to Save Wrestling
Post by: regulator130 on May 08, 2013, 08:46:30 AM
The Mohr dialogue is fantastic!


Agreed! It gets to nonwrestling fans as well.