Back on the Mat

By Andréa Maria Cecil

In Wrestling

September 09, 2013

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International Olympic Committee votes to reinstate wrestling for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games. While wrestling officials celebrated the victory, they said the work has just begun.

Wrestling’s back in—at least for the next two Olympic Games.

After seven months of collectively holding its breath, the worldwide wrestling community can not only take a sigh of relief but also jump for joy.

At its 125th Session, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday morning voted to include wrestling in the 2020 and 2024 Games over softball/baseball and squash. Wrestling received 49 votes, while softball/baseball got 24 and squash tallied 22.

After outgoing IOC President Jacques Rogge made the announcement, members of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles leapt from their chairs inside the room where the vote took place, shouting, cheering and hugging one another. The federation, known as FILA, dictates wrestling’s rules.

“It’s a great day for wrestling, that’s for sure,” said Mike Moyer, executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, as he stepped outside a noisy New York City café whose patrons were celebrating the news.

“In a lot of ways, that vote, it’s a testament to the resolve in the wrestling community. It’s hard to describe—it’s a fraternity like none I’ve ever been part of.”

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