Olympics reversal on wrestling draws praise from Congress

The IOC in February developed a list of 25 "core" sports that would make up the summer games, and did not include wrestling. That decision was based on the argument that the sport was not competitive when it comes to drawing a television audience.

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Brown and Rep. David Loebsack (D-Iowa) responded by proposing resolutions calling on the Olympics to keep wresting in the games. The Senate actually passed Brown's resolution by unanimous consent in March, but the House had not acted on Loebsack's language.

These members and others argued that the IOC's decision would have hurt college and high school wrestling programs.

"Today's decision is great news for the sport of wrestling, but also for those who have fought so hard to demonstrate what wrestling means to the international community," Loebsack said Sunday.

When the IOC failed to include wrestling as a core summer sport, wrestling's governing body, FILA, took several steps to address the problem of wrestling's flagging popularity. FILA launched a campaign to maintain the sport, and designed new rules aimed at making the matches more entertaining, including new penalties for stalling.

FILA also adjusted its weight classes, a move designed to allow more chances for women to compete.

"To the millions of wrestlers, supporters and fans around the world that came together to save Olympic wrestling; I offer a very big thank you," FILA President Nenad Lalovic said Sunday. "Every one of you fought very hard for this victory. Now we must remain united to make certain we live up to the expectations that have been placed on all of us by virtue of this vote."