Iowa wrestlers excited that sport is back in 2020 and 2024 Games - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa wrestlers excited that sport is back in 2020 and 2024 Olympics

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

A big day for wrestlers worldwide also felt like a personal victory to former Olympic medallists Dan Gable and Terry Brands as the International Olympic Committee voted to include wrestling in the 2020 and 2024 games.

"I needed that. I needed that. I needed that win," said Gable.

Gable won a wrestling gold medal in the 1972 Olympics.

He's been fighting the decision to exclude wrestling from the games since the International Olympic Committee recommended 25 sports make up the core sports of the Olympics after 2016. Wrestling wasn't included.

"It's really where we go from here to make this sport a top five core sport," said Gable.

When the decision was announced in February, there was an outcry from Iowans hoping to save the sport which has been a part of the Olympics since Ancient Greece.

"We have what wrestling has earned," said Terry Brands 2000 Bronze Medalist and Hawkeyes Associate Head Coach. "We have earned that we are the world's oldest and greatest sport and that committee proved it."

That's what the IOC felt was part of the problem. The sport hadn't changed much over the years, a reason it was cut, and something officials worked to change to get re-instated, like adding more opportunities for women.

"You can't stop the momentum that women bring to the sport of wrestling," said Brands. "You just can't"

The fight many put up to save wrestling was worth it. Now current wrestlers can still dream of being an Olympian.

"It's up to us and that's the best part about it," said Bobby Telford, University of Iowa Wrestler. "I'd rather have it in my hands than someone else's hands. It's a great feeling."

 

Adding wrestling back to the games is just temporary. Now, wrestlers want the sport to be named as a core sport so they won't have to put up a fight again.

 

"It's more than relief," said Gable. "It's something that I probably had to have."

 

Wrestling was voted in over baseball/softball or squash.

Gable says he'd like to see the Olympics changed again so that those sports can also be included beyond 2016.

 

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