Local Wrestlers and Coaches React to Olympic Decision
Regional wrestling tournaments are happening all over the state this weekend and fans have a lot to talk about especially since the Olympics just dropped their favorite sport.
The International Olympic Committee voted this week to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympic lineup. Local wrestlers can't believe this decision.
"It's kind of like a kick in the shin. It kind of degrades wrestling. It's kind of offending, but I hope they come to their senses," says Junior Bixby wrestler, Justin Fletcher.
Many of the coaches at the tournament agree.
"It was seriously like when Elvis died. It was horrible. It was like somebody punched me in the gut," says Bixby Wrestling head coach, Mike Jones.
Coach Jones says many Olympic champions were in tournaments just like this one.
"This is one of their early steps of their goals. Many of the Olympic champions started the way these guys did going to a regional and state tournament and then on to college and the Olympics," says Jones.
Coach Jones says with this type of decision gives all these wrestlers nothing big to look forward to.
"College wrestlers don't have a pro sport that we go into. We do have MMA now, the WFC, but that's as far as they can take their sport is the Olympics. So, that's the pinnacle of the sport you finish your college wrestling and win your Olympic medal," says Jones.
The Olympic committee will make the final decision in September, but Coach Jones doesn't think wrestling fans will keep quite.
"As hard as wrestlers fight, we aren't just going to lay on our back and take this. There will be a big fight to try and keep wrestling in the Olympics," says Jones.
Fletcher who has been wrestling since he was 6-years-old says he would love the chance to get to the Olympics and doesn't think the competition should be based on money.
"I don't think you should base your sports off of TV ratings. It's a tradition. You don't take that out just because you aren't making enough money," says Fletcher.