Wrestling Wins IOC Vote, Stays in 2020 Olympics
AMES, Iowa – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Sunday morning that wrestling will stay in the Olympics through at least the 2020 games. The sport received twice as many votes as competing sports squash and baseball/softball. The IOC released the tally with wrestling receiving 49 votes over the 24 and 22 received by baseball/softball and squash, respectively.
Cyclones.com had a chance to speak with wrestling head coach Kevin Jackson about the sport’s victory.
What personal significance does the decision hold for you?
“It’s a great decision and I think it’s the right decision that we will continue in the Olympic program. It means the world to our sport and it’s a very important decision. I watched the presentations of all three sports and got pretty nervous leading up to the decision. I’m very happy with the decision and excited for the sport. It is a huge decision and I’m looking forward to our sport growing and getting stronger for having been put in this situation.”
What historical meaning does this have for the Olympics, being one of the original sports in the games?
“At the presentations, I wished that we would have presented a little more on the side of the history of our sport. They did a great job though, giving the IOC the information they needed to make the decision. From a historic standpoint, the competitive side of wrestling has always been one of the greatest in athletics. Wrestling is one of the easiest sports to run and host. All in all, the great importance of wrestling was well recognized and the historic meaning and value that it holds.”
How strong of an impact does this decision have on the world of collegiate wrestling?
“It has a huge influence on collegiate wrestling. A lot of kids grow up in the sport wanting to win an Olympic gold medal. That’s why they wrestle in junior high, high school and in college. If you don’t have that ultimate goal, you’re going to lose kids and cut your numbers around the world. Everyone is excited. Our guys are going to come in on Monday at 6:00 a.m. knowing that their dreams haven’t been taken away from them and that their opportunity is still available to them. Some of our guys were afraid that their only chance to make an Olympic team would come in 2016. The decision means they don’t have to think that way and they can let the path of natural development take place on their way to reaching their ultimate dream. It had an effect on every level of wrestling and our guys feel it as strong as anyone.”