SENATE ADOPTS HANNON RESOLUTION TO KEEP WRESTLING IN THE SUMMER OLYMPICS
“The sport of wrestling has been Olympic staple for over 100 years, dating back to the first modern Olympics,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “Before that, it was one of the sports of the ancient Greeks at their Olympics. Yet, the IOC wants to drop wrestling beginning with the 2020 games – a proposal which will be approved or disapproved in September – we are opposed to that.”
Hannon sponsored a Legislative Resolution which was adopted by the New York State Senate expressing support to the International Olympic Committee for wrestling to be retained as a core sport in the Summer Olympic Games. The full International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has recommended that wrestling be dropped beginning with the 2020 games, will make a final decision at its September 2013 General Assembly.
“Wrestling is more popular than ever, and New York State has a proud wrestling tradition,” said Hannon. “New York is home to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, and 497 high schools in the state have a wrestling program, with more than 13,000 high school students participating.”
As proof of wrestling’s popularity, the United States faces fellow wrestling powerhouses Iran and then Russia in exhibitions in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal – the fourth straight year wrestling has been held to raise money for wrestling nonprofit Beat the Streets. Events such as these not only serve as proof of the sport’s popularity, they are designed to convince the IOC to keep wrestling in the Summer Games through 2020 and beyond.
“Wrestling builds not only strength of body but also strength of character,” said Hannon. “Wrestling has produced many outstanding national leaders, including Presidents, Members of Congress, and business and military leaders. Many student athletes say they have a goal to win an Olympic gold medal. The IOC should strongly consider keeping wrestling in the Olympics for the foreseeable future.”