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Impact of removing wrestling from Olympics may be greater than expected

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Florida’s 89.1 WUFT-FM’s Elizabeth Beisel spoke with Ryland Wagner, head wrestling coach for Gainesville High School, and Jeff Davis, a former wrestler for the University of Florida and member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

The Olympics were created in Greece more than two thousand years ago, and the sport of wrestling has strong roots there. The birth of democracy is credited to the Greeks and with a vote held Tuesday may come the deterioration of a sport.

The International Olympic Committee Executive Board has voted to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games. The games will be held in either Instanbul, Turkey; Madrid, Spain; or Tokyo, Japan, pending a vote in September.

Wrestling joins seven other sports that have been removed.

Karate, squash, wakeboarding, roller sports, sports climbingwushu, wrestling and a combined baseball/softball bid will fight for the last available spot for the 25 sports the committee approved for the games.

Representatives from each sport will make presentations to the executive board of the committee in May, and the board will decide which sport will remain in the Olympics.

CORRECTION: In the audio it is said wrestling will join eight other sports in attempting to be reinstated to the Olympics, totaling to nine sports overall. Baseball and softball are combined as a sport for Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, making eight the total amount of sports attempting to be reinstated.

Andrew V. Pestano contributed to this story.

About Matt Sheehan

Matt can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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