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State Reacts To IOC Vote On Wrestling
Updated May 5, 2013 12:13 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - An announcement from the International Olympic Committee "blindsided" a man in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Eric Halvorson of WISH TV reports that the IOC said it plans to remove wrestling from the Summer Games in 2020.

Louis Rosbottom, the Chairman of the Indiana State Wrestling Association said at first, he didn't believe what he heard.

"We were a bit shocked," he said.

"We look at the large community throughout the world that is involved -- for us, it doesn't make sense," Rosbottom said. "And, you know, as an old wrestler myself, you know, we've been taken down by this."

Wrestling can be traced back to the original Olympic games in ancient Greece. The sport was also among the events presented at the creation of the modern games a century ago.

Rosbottom said more than "200 countries participate in wrestling at the Olympic level. More than any other event." So, "we feel our sport deserves to be there."

He acknowledged the participants and fans of other sports will feel the same way -- and other sports will be expected to defend their right to participate in the future.

Supporters of wrestling hope to appeal the decision at an IOC meeting in May. They have already launched a social media campaign to save the Olympic team, seven years from now.

Rosbottom told us he does not expect the IOC vote to hurt the sport in Indiana. With 8,900 wrestlers in the Hoosier State, "wrestling, as a whole, is very strong" here."

He expects to see evidence of that, this weekend. The state tournament begins on Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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