Wrestling Wins IOC Vote for Place in 2020 Olympics

Brady Smith, Anchor / Reporter

Terry Brands holds up the arm of Dan Gable in victory as they celebrate the International Olympic Committee's vote to save olympic wrestling during a watch party in the Feller Club Room of Carver Hawkeye Arena Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013 in Iowa City. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Kelli Sutterman

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Surrounded by a live feed from the IOC conference in Buenos Aires, members of the Iowa Wrestling Team, associate head coach Terry Brands, and wrestling legend Dan Gable, watched with bated breath.

After several questions, vote gathering, and minutes of waiting, the anticipation was palpable.

"Man, I am sweaty!" Gable exclaimed, just seconds before the vote results were announced.

With 49 votes, the IOC reinstated wrestling for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. A visibly relieved Gable said even though this was a victory for his sport, there's still work to be done.

"It's really where we go from here to make this sport a top five core sport, which we're not even in the core, so we have long ways to go yet," Gable said.

Brands hopes that with wrestling going forward under new international leadership, the sport will keep evolving to avoid getting kicked out of the Olympics ever again.

"Our organization could have controlled that, had they listened to some IOC members years ago," Brands explained.

285-pound wrestler Bobby Telford, a junior, is glad to see that there's renewed hope for young wrestlers who dream of becoming Olympians.

"It's like the worst feeling ever," said Telford, expressing his emotions as he waited for the announcement, "but it was a sense of relief as soon as soon as it got done. I knew it was going to happen, but I couldn't count on it."

In a sport defined by solitary displays of athleticism, Brands said this is a win that brought an entire sport together.

"We have what wrestling has earned."

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