Statement from USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender
USA Wrestling is surprised and disappointed about today’s announcement concerning the International Olympic Committee Executive Board recommendation that wrestling not be a core sport included in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Wrestling is one of the sports of the original Greek Olympic Games and in the first modern Olympic Games. It is one of the most diverse sports in the world, with nearly 200 nations from all continents participating in wrestling. It is an inclusive sport which provides opportunities worldwide, regardless of geography, race, gender or physical characteristics.
We look forward to telling the story about wrestling to the International Committee leadership and the entire world about our great sport and why it should be part of the Olympic movement forever.
USA Wrestling pledges to be a leader in the international effort to insure that wrestling remains on the Olympic program. As we continue our leadership in expanding wrestling within our nation, we also will place our full resources and energy behind supporting wrestling on the international level.
Statement from United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun
The following statement is attributable to USOC CEO Scott Blackmun in reaction to the IOC Executive Board decision regarding the 2020 Olympic program:
“We knew that today would be a tough day for American athletes competing in whatever sport was identified by the IOC Executive Board. 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.”
Statement from FILA
FILA was greatly astonished by today’s recommendation of the IOC Executive Board not to maintain wrestling among the 25 core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games. FILA will take all necessary measures to convince the IOC Executive Board and IOC members of the aberration of such decision against one of the founding sports of the ancient and modern Olympic Games. FILA has always complied with the IOC regulations and is reprensented in 180 countries, with wrestling being the national sport in a fair amount of them and the only possibility for athletes to represent their country at the Olympic Games, thus contributing to their universality.
The FILA Bureau will meet in Phuket (THA) on 16-17 February and will address this issue in view of the presentation of wrestling in front of the IOC Executive Board in St-Petersburg next May.