IOC could drop wrestling from Olympic Games

Posted at: 02/12/2013 5:48 PM
Updated at: 02/12/2013 6:48 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Olympic dream could be over. Wrestling could be voted out of the Olympics starting with the 2020 Summer Games. For thousands of New Mexico kids who compete in wrestling, it's tough news.

No wrestling in the Olympics means years of work and dream chasing disappear for young wrestlers. No way to make it to the ultimate of International stages. Anthony Gallegos, a junior wrestler at Rio Grande High School, has dreamed of taking his skills further.

"A lot of these athletes I know that have made it big, like in other states cause I travel a lot,” Gallegos said. “A lot of them work that hard to get to the Olympics, NCAA champions and all that stuff, that they're going to be taking it away.”

Anthony's mother Cynthia is president of New Mexico Junior Wrestling. She hates the very thought of no wrestling in the Olympics.

"The traditions that wrestling has brought to our nation and amongst the rest of the world is- you can't replace that," Cynthia said.

The wrestling world's governing body said it was "astonished" by the IOC's move to drop wrestling as a sport. It will now have to compete against seven other sports for one spot at the 2020 Summer Games. Rio Grande High's wrestling coach Loren Vigil thinks there's room for the old and the new sports in the Olympics.

"I find it disappointing that a sport so rich in tradition and values with such a strong community that they would opt for that over something that's more of a fad sport," Vigil said.

The final decision on whether the IOC will drop wrestling won't be made until sometime later this year.