Three-time Olympic wrestling champs Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho of Japan greeted the IOC evaluation commission Wednesday in Tokyo as the city is scouted and scrutinized for its potential as the 2020 Olympics host.
The two women hope to bring the Games to their hometown for the first time since 1964, and also hope their sport – Japan’s third most popular – will still exist as part of the Olympics program when those Games roll around in seven years time.
They met the commission at the Tokyo Bay complex where fencing, taekwondo, and, if they get their way, wrestling, would take place in 2020.
Wrestling was recommended for removal last month by the IOC executive committee, but the international wrestling federation is prepping a presentation before the committee votes in May that will determine which sports will be presented to the IOC for a final vote in September.
“I don’t have a vote, but I would at least like to go to the presentation,” Yoshida, who won gold at the last three Summer Olympics, told the AP. “The only thing I can do is pray that wrestling stays in.”