Branstad Celebrates Wrestling Staying in Olympics

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad addresses the Linn Eagles at the Cedar Rapids Country Club on Friday, Jan. 13, 2011, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/SourceMedia Group News)

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By Ben Hoppenworth

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is celebrating a victory with the announcement that wrestling will remain an Olympic sport.

Speaking by telephone to reporters from a trade mission in Japan, Branstad says being in Tokyo when the International Olympic Committee first announced the 2020 games would be held in the city and then the news that wrestling would remain has been a tremendous experience.

Branstad helped launch a website last winter to lobby Olympic officials to keep wrestling. Branstad says 25,000 people joined the effort and 30 other governors wrote to the IOC to support wrestling.

The IOC voted in February to drop the sport. On Sunday the committee admitted it was a big mistake and voted wrestling back onto the program for the 2020 and 2024 Games.

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