Today, Representatives Tim Walz (MN-01), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), and Jim Jordan (OH-04) commended the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board's decision to keep wrestling in the running for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.
The IOC Executive Board is meeting this week (May 29-31) in St. Petersburg, Russia and selected three sports to short-list for the 2020 Olympic Games to recommend to the 125th IOC Session. The Executive Board has short-listed wrestling, baseball/softball, and squash. The full IOC will meet to render a final decision September 7-10 in Buenos Aires.
"The sport of wrestling is a true embodiment of the Olympic spirit and has been embraced by millions around the world. We are pleased that the IOC Executive Board has recognized this and moved the sport into the next round of consideration," said Loebsack, Jordan and Walz. "We will continue to fight to ensure wrestling remains an Olympic sport when the final decision is made this fall."
Earlier, the three wrote to IOC President Jacques Rogge urging him to reconsider the decision to remove wrestling from the Summer Olympic program.
"The sport of wrestling and the athletes that represent it are a true testament to the Olympic spirit," wrote the Representatives. "A decision to eliminate it from the Summer Games would be a loss for the American people, the Olympic family and the entire world community. We strongly urge you to reconsider your earlier decision and honor the values and traditions of the Olympic Games by recommending wrestling for inclusion in Summer Olympic programs."
The three have also introduced a Resolution (H.Res. 71) expressing opposition to the IOC decision to eliminate wrestling as a core sport. The bill currently has 46 bipartisan cosponsors and strong support from the wrestling community.