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EXECUTIVE NOTES By Rich Bender, USA Wrestling Executive Director


Regional Training Centers, exciting new USOC partnership and honoring the life of young wrestler Jack Pinto Happy New Year from USA Wrestling. We are very excited


about the 2013 year, as the organization and the sport contin- ues to move forward in many exciting ways. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of


USA Wrestling Regional Training Centers (RTCs) which have been created and developed across the nation. Many of these RTC’s are affiliated with college wrestling programs and their surrounding communities. The impact of the RTCs on the U.S. international effort has been immense, and has the potential to be even more important as we work to improve our Olympic- level performance in the future. The biggest impact has been in our men’s freestyle program,


but there is potential for RTCs to also have a future impact on the Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle programs. RTCs allow athletes who are pursuing their Olympic dream to have access to the resources they need to win, including training funds, great facilities, talented international-style coaches and quality work- out partners. The results from the 2012 Olympic Games shows that the


RTC system is working. All three of our men’s freestyle Olympic medalists were affiliated with a strong RTC program on a col- lege campus, with champions Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska) and Jake Varner (Penn State) and bronze medalist Coleman Scott (Oklahoma State) all benefitting from this system. This is an example of different levels of wrestling working together for the benefit of everybody. A vibrant RTC provides tremendous benefits to USA Wrestling, to the college wrestling programs involved and to the local wrestling community. We are very pleased that more RTCs are being developed. USA Wrestling has worked closely with the NCAA, with input


from college coaches and others, to set criteria and rules for RTCs. Our goal is to provide clarification about how to manage RTC programs, as well as consistency on a national level. We thank the NCAA for its support and effort in this process. In the coming year, you may notice some changes in the way


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that USA Wrestling presents its website TheMat.com as well as other communication platforms. USA Wrestling is pleased to be entering in a partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee in regards to our internet and broadcast assets. The USOC will be providing consider-


able resources and support to USA Wrestling to assist us in improving and expanding our ability to promote wrestling. There may be a tran- sition period while we are integrating our existing products to work within the USOC framework and system. However, once we are able to complete this process, we are confident that the end result will be outstanding. One of USA Wrestling’s core business objectives is to net-


work the wrestling community online, and we believe this new partnership with the USOC will play a big role in helping us do an even better job in that area. On a sad note, you may have heard that one of USA


Wrestling’s youth members, Jack Pinto, was among the children who lost their life during the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. A six-year-old who was in his first year of wrestling, Jack was a member of the Newtown Youth Wrestling Association. USA Wrestling offers its heartfelt condolences to Jack’s family and all who were affected by this unspeakable tragedy. In a way to honor the life of Jack Pinto and continue his mem-


ory within our sport, the name of the Kiki Cup, an international Greco-Roman event that we host in Colorado Springs, has been renamed the Jack Pinto Cup. Kiki Kelley, who is the sponsor of this event, fully supported


the idea of honoring Jack Pinto. The Pinto family has also agreed to allow us to do this, for which we are very grateful. On January 26, athletes from five nations will wrestle in 16 dual meets at the Olympic Training Center. The wrestling community is a family and takes care of its own. Hopefully we can show our love and respect for Jack’s family through the Jack Pinto Cup.


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