Wrestling Aims for Provisional Status in Olympics - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Wrestling Aims for Provisional Status in Olympics

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

USA Wrestling decided to use the NCAA Wrestling Championship to announce how they plan to make sure wrestling gets included in the 2020 Olympics.

"It's the right thing to do," said wrestling great Dan Gable.

The Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling says there are couple ways to show the International Olympic Committee how serious they are about getting the sport included.

The first thing on their list already happened when wrestling fired their international leadership

"Make no mistake about it, we disagree vehemently with the decision of the International Olympic Committee," said Bill Scherr, CPOW chairman.  "But also make no mistake that the fault lies largely with the leadership of wrestling and not the process, and the individuals at the International Olympic Committee."

The next part of their plan is to campaign to become a provisional sport.  But to do that, they must beat out seven other sports including squash and karate.

Using a new campaign called, "2020 Vision," they hope to show the support American wrestlers see around the world.

"Iran was awesome," said Jordan Burroughs, an Olympic champion.  "There were thousands of fans in the stands with, 'Save Olympic Wrestling,' signs written in Farsi."

As for the effort by Iowa, Governor Branstad's petition now has 33 governors signed on.  Gable and members of Congress say that kind of support is making a difference and proves this is a bipartisan issue. 

"This is an issue that brings people together," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. "People around the world know how special this sport is."

15 members of the IOC will vote on what gets put into the provisional sport category this May.

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