Exclusive: Rio 2016 President backs wrestling to stay on Olympic programme
Wednesday, 13 March 2013
March 12 - Wrestling's bid to remain in the Olympics has received another high profile supporter after Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman backed the discipline to stay on the sports programme for the 2020 Games.
Wrestling was controversially removed as a core sport after Rio 2016 by the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board last month.
It must now battle against the seven bid sports of baseball/softball, climbing, karate, roller sport, squash, wakeboard and wushu with the IOC set to decide which sport will feature at the 2020 Olympics at their Session in Buenos Aires in September.
Rio 2016 will currently be the last Games where wrestling will feature but Nuzman, who is also Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) President and an honorary member of the IOC having been forced to retire at the end of last year because he had reached the age limit of 70, backed the sport to feature in 2020.
"Brazil is not a strong country in wrestling," Nuzman told insidethegames.
"But in my opinion, wrestling needs to stay in the Games.
"I think it is a sport that connects us with the Ancient Olympic Games so it is part of the history of the Olympics.
"It has a sport that has been a part of the Olympic Movement longer than most sports.
"So I think I am in favour that we keep wrestling in the Games.
"That is my hope."
All eight sports now face a crucial presentation to the IOC Executive Board at their meeting in St Petersburg in May.
Following the presentations, the Executive Board are likely to shortlist around three of the sports, which will then face a vote from the full IOC membership in Buenos Aires.
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