Iowa reacts to Olympic wrestling ban - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa reacts to Olympic wrestling ban


Marion native and Iowa Hawkeye Matt McDonough has always dreamed of competing in the Olympics.

"When you're young it's more of a dream, something you fantasize about and you go, 'Wow,'" he said.

Now, for McDonough and many other athletes, time may be running out on that dream.

"I have one Olympics ahead of me, and I can't look much further than that," said McDonough.

Many in the wrestling world, including McDonough's coach -- Olympic gold medalist Tom Brands -- were stunned to hear the International Olympic Committee dropped wrestling from the 2020 program.

"There's a lot of things that go through your head, and anger is probably one of them and that doesn't get anything done," said Brands, head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa. "So what you do is you gather information."

Brands refuses to speculate on what this move could do for the sport. Instead he is focused on bringing the wrestling community together to fight the decision.

"You have to get people behind you, you have to do it smart, you have to do it educated," he said. "You have to be professional, and you have to do it with some muscle as well."

McDonough acknowledges it could be more than just his future goals at stake. He wonders what no Olympics would mean for the young kids out there dreaming of a chance to make it to wrestling's biggest stage.

"It's the Olympics. It speaks for itself so obviously it's going to have a serious impact," McDonough said. "Will it ruin wrestling? Absolutely not. Will it make it harder to bring people in? Maybe."

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