The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 9, 2013

Wrestling makes Olympic comeback

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Gold medalist Jordan Burroughs and his fiance nervously awaited word Sunday on whether wrestling would be reinstated as an Olympic sport.

For the Burroughs in Lincoln, Neb., and many others in the American wrestling community, the web stream of the International Olympic Committee’s historic vote from Buenos Aires was one of the most stressful experiences of their lives.

“It was like the most suspenseful movie I’ve ever seen,” Burroughs told The Associated Press.

Tension quickly turned to jubilation for Burroughs and other wrestlers across the world.

After seven months fighting to preserve its Olympic status, wrestling was reinstated for the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Wrestling, which was dropped from the list of core sports in February, received 49 votes to win in the first round of secret balloting by the International Olympic Committee. Baseball-softball got 24 votes and squash received 22.

According to wrestling great Dan Gable, the IOC’s original recommendation turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Faced with Olympic elimination, wrestling finally embraced the change the IOC had long demanded.

“Had we not been kicked out seven months ago, we would have been seven months deeper in a hole that maybe we wouldn’t have been able to dig out of,” Gable said from a watch party at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. “For me it was like, if we would have lost (Sunday), it would have been two losses in seven months. And all of a sudden it becomes a pattern, and a pattern of losses becomes a disaster.”

USA Wrestling helped avert such a disaster, reacting quickly to the IOC’s recommendation by forming the Committee to Preserve Olympic Wrestling.

According to chairman Bill Scherr, the group was instrumental in helping focus an international effort to reshape the sport.

Within weeks, the Americans were working alongside nations such as Russia and Iran to help FILA, the international governing body, craft their strategy for both a key IOC meeting in Russia in May and Sunday’s final vote.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014