United World Wrestling, the international wrestling federation, has awarded the 2018 Freestyle World Cup to USA Wrestling, which will host the event at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa, April 21-22.
The World Cup is the annual international dual meet championships, and features the top eight men’s freestyle wrestling teams in the world. It is one of the most prestigious and important international wrestling events held each year, and will feature many of the top freestyle stars in the world.
The local organizing committee will be the same group of leaders who hosted the highly-successful 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The local organizing committee is led by the University of Iowa Athletics and the Iowa City/Coralville Convention & Visitors Bureau and includes leaders from the City of Iowa City, City of Coralville and City of North Liberty.
“USA Wrestling is extremely pleased that the Freestyle World Cup in returning to the United States in 2018. We are excited to partner with our hosts at the University of Iowa and in the Iowa City community, who have been leaders in presenting the two most successful U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling in history. The Freestyle World Cup is a fabulous competition which fans will enjoy. Iowa City is one of the greatest wrestling cities in the world and Carver-Hawkeye Arena is a historic location that will be a spectacular showcase for our sport,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director.
The sold-out 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials smashed the attendance record for a U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling, with a two-day total of 54,766 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials was equally successful, with the second-largest attendance total in event history.
“For that past few Olympic years, we have been front and center to the nation with our hosting of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Now, in April of 2018, the world very clearly gets to see why Iowa City is one of the sport’s most hallowed capitals,” said Josh Schamberger, President of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“It is a thrill to once again welcome the top wrestlers in the world to the University of Iowa,” said UI director of athletics Gary Barta. “The Iowa City community, Hawkeye wrestling fans, and wrestlers from all over the country have shown over and over again that there is no better wrestling venue than Carver-Hawkeye Arena. We were privileged to host the 2012 and 2016 United States Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, and are excited to share our passion for the sport with United World Wrestling and the top international wrestlers from around the world.”
This will be the 30th time the United States has hosted the event, the most of any nation. Iowa City will be the ninth U.S. city to host the Freestyle World Cup. U.S. wrestling leaders created this event in Toledo, Ohio in 1973, and it has developed into a showcase for Olympic wrestling.
The 2017 Freestyle World Cup will be hosted in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 16-17, and the United States will be among the participating nations.
The most recent host city in the USA was Los Angeles, Calif., which successfully held the event for three straight years in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and was held at the world-famous Forum.
The other U.S. cities which have hosted the World Cup include Toledo, Ohio (17 times); Chattanooga, Tenn. (twice); Spokane, Wash.(twice); Stillwater, Okla. (twice); Baltimore, Md.; Fairfax, Va. and Boise, Idaho.
The field for the 2017 Freestyle World Cup will be determined based upon the men’s freestyle team results of the 2017 World Wrestling Championships, which will be held in Paris, France, August 21-26.