Assemblyman and local coaches fight to keep wrestling in the Oly - NBC40.net

Assemblyman and local coaches fight to keep wrestling in the Olympics

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LINWOOD -

Wrestling, a sport that recently brought thousands to Boardwalk Hall for a weekend and is considered as old as the Olympics themselves was recently dropped from the 2020 Summer Games.

Nearly a month after the IOC's decision, Assemblyman Christopher J. Brown, who represents the 8th Legislative district, which includes parts of Burlington and Camden Counties, is trying to pick the sport off of the mat.

"Our resolution is to show support for restoring and maintaining wrestling as a core sport in the Olympics," said Assemblyman Brown.

The resolution passed unanimously in the education committee and Assemblyman Brown expects it to pass the Assembly and make its way to the Governor's desk and eventually the IOC.

Locally, wrestling coaches are in support of the resolution.

"Its fantastic, its great. I was excited to see so many people that have never watched a match get behind this movement and I'm hoping it will be successful," said Holy Spirit High School wrestling head coach Ralph Paolone.

Coach Paolone points to sold out crowds at Boardwalk Hall as a sign of the sport's popularity and see the sport as a valuable teaching tool for young athletes.

"The lessons learned there translate into life. Hard work, determination, dedication, those are life lessons that translate well after you finish wrestling on the mat, so I think everyone wants to see it back because it's such a great sport," said Paolone.

Both Paolone and Assemblyman Brown agree that an Olympic gold medal is the ultimate goal for any wrestler since there are no major professional leagues to compete in.

Assemblyman Brown hopes this resolution, as well as support from other states and organizations will be enough to sway to IOC.

"I'm hoping that the Olympic Committee sees not just our state, but other states as well as organizations like the United States Wrestling Association are all pushing for this sport to be protected and maintained as a core sport," said Assemblyman Brown.

Wrestling will be a part of the 2016 summer games but will be forced to compete against seven other sports for the final spot in the 2020 games.

The IOC will hold its vote later this year.

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