8 October 2013
Georgy Brusov thanked Aleksandr Zhukov and the Russian Olympic Committee
On Tuesday, October 8, ITAR-TASS hosted a press-conference of the Russian Wrestling Federation (RWF). It was devoted to the results of the 125th IOC Session, that took place in Buenos Aires at the beginning of September.
After the IOC gave a recommendation not to maintain wrestling among the 25 core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games a massive campaign was launched to keep it as it is one of the oldest sports. Its fate was determined in the capital of Argentina, where wrestling (Freestyle, Greco-Roman and Women’s wrestling) was reinstated as an Olympic sport for the 2020 and 2024 Games after being voted in ahead of baseball/softball and squash.
“We learned of this sad IOC recommendation at the plenary meeting of the State Duma in February 2013 and together with the President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Aleksandr Zhukov, it was quickly discussed and with the ROC’s help a headquarters was created to save wrestling. All requests were granted at once. Besides this, the ROC endorsed an initiative to hold the FILA Congress in Moscow, gave us financial and organizational support and what is even more important gave us status support. “The ROC governing body greeted congress participants, thereby showing how important wrestling was for Russia”, – recalled Aleksandr Karelin, three-time Olympic champion and member of International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA).
During the period from February to September 2013 FILA and RWF held many activities to support wrestling. The ROC was directly involved in those activities.
“I believe that the success of our project of keeping wrestling in the Olympic program was determined by what was accomplished in the first few weeks. We could feel great government support. What is also important is that the Russian Olympic Committee has undertaken financial guarantees related to the realization of this global project. Therefore, immediately we started preparing for the IOC Executive Board meeting that was held in St Petersburg in May. At this meeting the same people who said no to wrestling in February wanted to allow the competition to continue”, – said Georgy Brusov, First Vice-President of the RWF.
The International Olympic Committee voted at a meeting in Buenos Aires, to reinstate wrestling as an Olympic sport for the 2020 and 2024 Games. However the World Wrestling Community is not going to be satisfied with what has already been achieved. They are going to do their best to make wrestling become the main sports of the Olympic program.