The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 1, 2013

Ex-USOC boss working to save Olympic wrestling

NORMAN — Former U.S. Olympic Committee head Jim Scherr believes wrestling has a path to survival in the Olympics, but it will be a “major challenge.”

Scherr is a former wrestler who has been working with the sport’s international federation to reverse a recent IOC recommendation to eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Summer Games. In a conference call arranged by USA Wrestling on Thursday, he said it’s difficult to gauge how “uphill” the battle will be.

“I think it’s a major challenge to the sport,” Scherr said. “By no means is there an easy win here. Wrestling can remain on the program. But wrestling has to work hard to do so. We’re optimistic that the leadership that’s been collected on the worldwide level and here in the United States, that we’re up to the task.”

The international federation recognizes it could have done more to promote wrestling to Olympic leaders, and new leadership under interim president Nenad Lalovic will make a difference, Scherr said.

The IOC executive board will meet in May in St. Petersburg, Russia, to choose which sport or sports to propose for inclusion in 2020. The final vote will be made at the IOC general assembly in September in Buenos Aires.

Scherr said the sport’s leaders will consider ways to tweak the rules and scoring system for fans unfamiliar with the sport, and will try to sway the IOC with better media and sponsorship models.

Scherr and his brother, former world champion Bill Scherr, are joining several wrestling stars on a committee that will lead reform efforts in the U.S. Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling, says an international coalition is vital to the cause, and worked to build one on a recent trip to Iran for the World Cup.

The U.S. and Iran have rare common ground in trying to save wrestling, and it was on display with shows of unity during the event in Tehran.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Popovich wins Coach of the Year

    The San Antonio Spurs, the model for stability and sustained success in the modern NBA, were still a shaken team when they showed up for training camp in October, less than four months after a devastating loss to Miami in the NBA Finals. ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Tony Allen’s hounding defense a challenge, even for Durant

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen’s defense....

    April 23, 2014

  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career

    WASHINGTON — Albert Pujols reached 500 homers in a hurry....

    April 23, 2014

  • Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two Florida lawmakers motivated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig’s dangerous escape from Cuba are trying to change the way Major League Baseball treats Cuban players and are willing to tie state money for ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Physical stars ruffling Ducks’ feathers

    DALLAS — Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was asked about the Dallas Stars trying to get under his skin or into his head with their physical play in Game 3. “Trying to hit my head how about?” the already stitched-up and visor-protected ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Pacers need statement game to stay afloat in series with Hawks

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s next game is the most important of the season. If the top-seeded Pacers can’t protect their home court Tuesday night, they’ll be down 2-0 heading to Atlanta — where they have only won twice since December 2006....

    April 22, 2014

  • Dwyane Wade looks like his old self, again

    MIAMI — Dwyane Wade is not planning on missing any more games this season, and that means life on the Miami Heat equipment room staff is going to get considerably more demanding....

    April 22, 2014

  • American wins first Boston Marathon after bombing

    BOSTON — “The Star-Spangled Banner” played over Boylston Street in honor of an American winner of the Boston Marathon....

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Louis falls again

    NEW YORK — Jenrry Mejia pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, David Wright delivered another key hit and the New York Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Monday night....

    April 22, 2014

  • Portland’s Aldridge primed for Game 2

    HOUSTON — A day after etching his name in Portland’s record books with a franchise playoff-record 46 points in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against Houston, LaMarcus Aldridge was already looking forward....

    April 22, 2014