Gov. Terry E. Branstad, on a media conference call during an international trade mission in Tokyo, today issued the following statement regarding the International Olympic Committee's decision to keep wrestling as an Olympic sport:
"Also, another great news (announcement) that came out of the International Olympic Committee was the decision to keep wresting. As you know, we've been working on this -- LetsKeepWrestling.com -- we launched that last winter. We've gotten a tremendous response: over 25,000 people joined in our efforts. I recruited other governors to join. We had 30-some other governors that wrote to the International Olympic Committee in support of wrestling. And so, these two decisions made in Buenos Aires, are great for Tokyo and certainly great for the state of Iowa and the future of the Olympics, so we are very excited about that."
The governor also commented on Tokyo being chosen as host for the 2020 Olympic Games:
"The big news that happened while we've been here is the decision by the International Olympic Committee to have the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This is huge news all over the world, but obviously here in Tokyo, it's tremendous.
"They're very excited. This is great news for Japan. We're proud to be here with them for this big announcement. It was tremendously well-received by everybody."
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds made the following statement in Des Moines:
"Iowans have a special bond with wrestling. High school gyms across the state fill up every Saturday in the winter, with fans cheering passionately and loudly as athletes compete on the mat. The governor and I took very seriously our role in promoting wrestling to the International Olympic Committee, and knew it would take a significant effort in what was perceived as an uphill battle. Undaunted, Iowans joined with us and thankfully, we prevailed in keeping wrestling as an Olympic sport. We want to thank the International Olympic Committee for this decision, and we thank the tens of thousands of Iowans who participated in this important effort."