In February, the International Olympic Committee recommended that wrestling be removed from the summer games starting in 2020. Obviously, this isn't sitting well with the amateur wrestling community including those in our area. Who better to talk about this story than an Olympic gold medalist? Kurt Angle was in the area over the weekend as he is now a professional wrestler performing for TNA Impact. The 1996 gold medalist says FILA, the governing body of wrestling, was so confident that wrestling would be safe, they never sent a representative to that IOC meeting back in February.
Kurt: We need a stronger leader that would stand up for us and keep our sport alive. I believe that's what we've and will continue to do.
Scott: Go into a little more about saving it.
Kurt: I'm only playing a small part. I can only do what I can do through the media, twitter and facebook. What we're doing now is raising money for political reasons, signing a position the website www.keepwrestlingintheolympics.com has a mailing list. I believe in September when they make a final decision, they're going to replace wrestling with wrestling.
Scott: We have a strong wrestling tradition in this area, from border to border. Mount Mansfield grad Robert Hamlin just became a two-time NCAA runner up. Jake Renning from Enosburg just won a Canadian National Championship and the kids at Mount Anthony have won 25 straight State Championships. The college kids are eligible for the 2016 games, but what do you say to those high school kids and younger?
Kurt: Wrestling will never die. In the United States of America, wrestling is the number three most participated sport behind football and basketball so we're obviously doing our job. We remain to be strong, but there's something special about the Olympics. I know how it feels and I would hate to take that away from our youth.
Scott: You're from Pittsburgh, PA. Pennsylvania is a wrestling Mecca, but 25 straight state championships has to be impressive even by your standards?
Kurt: That's very impressive. I have to give that coach and that program a lot of credit for what they do. I would say that the Northeast has gotten stronger and stronger, so I give programs like that a lot of credit and the money that these coaches and programs are raising, I think that's awesome.
PO Box 4508