FILA's president Nenad Lalovic discusses Wrestling World Plan (Photo/T.R. Foley)
Buenos Aires, Argentina -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced it voted the sport of wrestling to remain in the Olympic program as a provisional sport at the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
On the first vote, wrestling received 49 votes out of the 95 voters, receiving the majority of votes and winning on the first ballot.
USA Wrestling and its Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW) join our international wrestling federation FILA in expressing extreme gratitude and satisfaction following the IOC's announcement.
On Feb. 12, 2013, the IOC Executive Board recommended that wrestling not be included with the 25 Core Sports initiative, which is set to begin after the 2016 Olympic Games. The IOC allowed wrestling to join with other sports in the hopes of becoming a provisional sport of the 2020 and 2024 Olympic programs. On May 29, the IOC Executive Board selected wrestling for the short list of three sports for consideration by the IOC General Assembly today.
"This is a great day for wrestling and for USA Wrestling. As a sport and an organization, we came together like never before to support the sport we love. I want to thank all who helped our cause, especially those from USA Wrestling state organizations and our grassroots community. You all have stepped up, with fundraising efforts, online activities, attendance at our big events and so many other important things. As a family, we showed our pride in wrestling, and have helped tell the story of our sport to the IOC and to the world," said USA Wrestling President James Ravannack.
"Now the work really starts for wrestling. We need to capitalize on the opportunity which we have received and continue to move the sport forward. Momentum is on our side. We must continue to be passionate and aggressive in promoting and improving wrestling in the United States and around the world. We also want to thank everybody from the U.S. wrestling community who has stepped up to support the Keep Olympic Wrestling movement," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.
Nenad Lalovic presents (Photo/T.R. Foley)"We are thrilled with the IOC decision today. Wrestling has been a significant part of the ancient and modern Olympics and we are pleased to be on the program for 2020 and 2024. The IOC has been fair and encouraging to us and we believe that there will be opportunities for us to again be one of the core sports and permanently on the program in the future. The Olympics has much to offer wrestling and wrestling adds greatly to the Olympic program. It is important to the millions of young wrestlers around the world -- boys and girls -- that we work to provide an opportunity for them to dream Olympic dreams, just as many of us did. And so we will continue the fight to become a core sport of the Olympic Games," said Bill Scherr, Chairman of the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling.
"It's a great day for wrestling and a great day for the Olympics," said Mike Novogratz, spokesman for the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling.
Although wrestling has retained its position in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, the work of the USA Wrestling community is not finished. The mission of CPOW has been "to ensure that wrestling remains as a core sport of the Olympic Games." This mission has not yet been achieved.
The Keep Olympic Wrestling effort, led by CPOW in the United States, helped bring many positive changes and improvements to the sport. There has been great support and momentum for wrestling in its effort to remain on the Olympic program. The work to improve wrestling and expand its participation and impact here in the United States and around the world will continue, leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and beyond.
ABOUT USA WRESTLING
USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation FILA. Simply, USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.
The Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW) was developed by USA Wrestling, whose mission is to insure that wrestling remains as a core sport of the Olympic Games. CPOW features many highly-respected leaders within the American wrestling, chaired by Bill Scherr of Glenview, Ill., a World champion and Olympic medalist in freestyle wrestling and a leader in the Olympic family.