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    USA wrestlers return to Times Square on June 7

    NEW YORK -- "Beat The Streets,” the New York City-based not-for-profit organization that has brought wrestling to thousands of middle and high school students in New York City, along with USA Wrestling and the New York City Department of Education, today announced that for the second straight year, an international freestyle wrestling match featuring some of the world's greatest Olympic-class wrestlers, will be held in Duffy Square in New York's Times Square on Thursday, June 7.

    The 2011 Beat the Streets Gala was the first sports event ever held in Times Square, and thousands packed the area to see history in the making (Photo/John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com)
    The United States freestyle team will face one of the top wrestling nations in the world as the featured competition for the 2012 Beat the Streets Gala and Benefit, which will be held following the dual meet at Roseland Ballroom. Included in the Gala is the Beat the Streets Reception and Awards Ceremony.

    The athletes competing for the United States team are the men’s freestyle champions at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, who will represent our nation in the London Games in August. The details on the international team are being finalized and will be announced shortly.

    The event is free to the public, and will also be streamed live on TheMat.com by USA Wrestling and be shown on the single largest face LED screen in Times Square.

    "We are extremely excited to bring wrestling to Times Square again. Last year was amazing and this year is only going to be better. Providing Team USA a true send-off for the London Games is a dream scenario. I can't imagine a better way to honor them and raise awareness for USA Wrestling, Beat the Streets, and our great sport,” said Mike Novogratz, Beat The Streets Chairman of the Board.

    "This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our sport during the Olympic year. It also provides our athletes a wonderful chance to display their skills in one of the most unique and inspiring settings in the world. We truly appreciate the efforts of Beat the Streets and everyone involved in this great event to help move our sport forward,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director.

    This is the third straight year in which a major Olympic-style competition has been featured as part of the Beat the Streets Gala.

    In 2011, the United States defeated World champion Russia, 5-2, in a dual meet held in Times Square. It marked the return of Olympic champion Henry Cejudo to competition, and featured victories by Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner, who went on to win medals at the 2011 World Championships. It was the first sports event ever held in historic Times Square, and thousands of fans packed the area to see history in the making.

    In 2010, an all-star challenge featuring top U.S. wrestlers was held on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan. Competition was in all three Olympic styles and featured numerous U.S. World Team members and national champions.

    Once again this year, a card of exhibition matches will be held in Duffy Square, featuring Beat the Streets athletes from middle schools as well as from the Public School Athletic League.

    A complete schedule of events will be announced shortly.

    The Mission of the Beat the Streets Wrestling Program is to expand and develop wrestling in the New York City Metropolitan area from the youth through the Olympic level. Our dream is to provide opportunities for boys and girls in the activity of wrestling, building lifelong skills. If you share this mission and would like to volunteer to help, please contact volunteer@beat-the-streets.org.

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