Reps from both the U.S. and Russia are preparing for battle after the IOC recommended the expulsion of wrestling from the Olympics in a vote last week.
USA Wrestling announced Monday that is has created the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling, which will be headed by former world champ Bill Scherr. The group will work with FILA and the IOC in an attempt to restore the sports Olympic status in time for the 2020 Games, and plans “mobilize and energize” American support for the sport and their cause.
Meanwhile Mikhail Mamiashvili, Russia’s representative in the sports governing body, has vowed to overturn the decision made by the IOC:
“We will look for a compromise and ways to convince the members of the International Olympic Committee that this sport, which was part of the ancient games and is loved by hundreds of millions of people across the globe, should remain.”
Mamiashvili helped oust former FILA head Raphael Martinetti of Switzerland, who received a vote of no confidence this weekend after he was accused of negligence for failing to prevent the sport’s expulsion.
While the decision isn’t expected to be overturned, both countries carry some weight in the discussion, since Russia has won the most wrestling medals in every Olympics since it first competed as an independent nation in 1996. And since the United States is, you know, the United States.