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sports and permanently on the program in the future. The Olympics has much to offer wrestling and wrestling adds greatly to the Olympic program. It is important to the millions of young wrestlers around the world—boys and girls--that we work to pro- vide an opportunity for them to dream Olympic dreams, just as many of us did. And so we will continue the fight to become a core sport of the Olympic Games,” said Bill Scherr, Chairman of the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling. “It's a great day for wrestling and a great day for the Olympics,” said Mike Novogratz, spokesman for the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling. “I want to offer my sincere gratitude to each member of the International Olympic Committee that voted to save Olympic wrestling today,” said FILA President Nenad Lalovic. “With this vote, you have shown that the steps we have taken to improve our sport have made a difference. I assure each of you that our modernization will not stop now. We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic Movement that we can be.” Lalovic also thanked all of the wrestlers worldwide who helped make the victory possible. “To the millions of wrestlers, supporters and fans around the world that came together to save Olympic wrestling; I offer a very big thank you,“ continued President Lalovic. “Every one of you fought very hard for this victory. Now we must remain united to make certain we live up to the expectations that have been placed on all of us by virtue of this vote.” The reaction to this decision came quickly from the American wrestling community. In a number of locations around the United States, including Colorado Springs, Stillwater, New York City, Iowa City, Waterloo and Chicago, wrestling people got together to watch the vote on a live internet webcast, and to share the joy when the decision was announced.

“This is extremely exciting. I am really pumped right now. I felt like I was watching a real suspenseful movie and not knowing the actual outcome. I was confident we would get in, but you are not completely sure until you hear the news. I was literally sweating because this vote was so important to so many peo- ple. It was awesome to see how happy everyone was when wrestling won the vote. This is obviously huge for our sport. The wrestling community has been amazing with the way everyone has come together. This was a long process, and it’s a great tribute to wrestling for the way it responded. I’m very proud to

be a part of his incredible sport,” said Olympic and World cham- pion Jordan Burroughs.

“I think the presenters did an amazing job. They could not have chosen a better panel of presenters. I was nervous, with nerves going all through my body. I am very excited. I speak a lot with high school kids all the time, and now those who are Cadets and Juniors will have that Olympic opportunity,” said Olympic bronze medalist and CPOW member Clarissa Chun from the viewing party at USA Wrestling headquarters in Colorado Springs. “We had a very good presentation and panel. I am glad we

didn’t take it lightly. There are a lot of kids with us here today. This was for them,” said Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott from the viewing party at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.

The dramatic and historic vote on September 8 was the cul- mination of a tremendous effort by the worldwide wrestling com- munity. USA Wrestling and its Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling had been a major leader in the cause. The American wrestling community raised more than $1.3 million for the campaign, which was deployed in a number of ways that helped lead to the successful outcome. CPOW was structured into three main committees: International Relations, Public Relations and Marketing, and Finance and Fundraising. Each of these committees carried out the work of CPOW, with regular committee meetings often many times a week. It was all overseen under the guidance of the overall committee, chaired with great skill by Bill Scherr, which met every Saturday morning for the entire seven month project. The first part of the campaign, called Phase I by those on

CPOW, led up to the vote in St, Petersburg, Russia in May. Once wrestling was selected to the short list of candidate sports, the campaign went into Phase II, which was the period leading up to the IOC General Assembly vote in Buenos Aires on September 8.

There were a number of highlights from Phase II which helped wrestling in its efforts to build on the momentum of the May vote and separate itself from the bids by squash and by baseball/softball.

One of the key events during the summer months was Olympia 2013, an international wrestling event held on the grounds of the ancient Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece.

Continued on page 36 USA Wrestler 7

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