Walz, others call for Olympics to reinstate sport of wrestlingPublished 10:38am Wednesday, February 20, 2013
First District Congressman Tim Walz and a group of other lawmakers have launched an effort to oppose the International Olympic Committee’s decision to drop wrestling starting in 2020.
Introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, the resolution urges the committee to reinstate wrestling as a core sport of the Summer Games.
Walz, DFL-Mankato, introduced the resolution on Thursday with Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
“Minnesota has a storied and rich wrestling heritage,” said Walz, a former teacher. “This is especially true in southern Minnesota where wrestling gives students the confidence, courage and work ethic it takes to be successful, not only in the sport, but also in life.”
The resolution stated more than 280,000 high school students participated in wrestling in the United States in 2012, and there are more than 300 intercollegiate wrestling programs in the country.
The sport was one of the original sports of the ancient Greek Olympic Games and of the first modern Olympic Games, with origins dating back to 3000 B.C., it stated.
“The decision by the International Olympic Committee to drop wrestling is baffling,” Loebsack said.
Since the resolution was approved, three Olympic wrestling winners from Iowa — Dan Gable, Tom Brands and Terry Brands — have voiced their support for it as well.
Minn. lawmaker protests IOC’s wrestling drop
ST. PAUL (AP) — A Minnesota lawmaker and former wrestler is going back to the mat, this time with the International Olympic Committee.
Forest Lake Republican Rep. Bob Dettmer introduced a resolution in the House, calling on the committee to reconsider its decision to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games. The committee’s decision last week has unleashed a torrent of criticism.
While wrestling for Bemidji State University, Dettmer won a national championship for his weight class in 1971. He also wrestled in the trials for the 1972 Olympics in West Germany, and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Dettmer coached wrestling at Forest Lake High School for more than 30 years before coming to the Legislature in 2007.