Wrestling Chairman: 'We Need To Change Minds'

By J.R. Ogden, Reporter

Dan Gable, retired Iowa wrestling coach, Olympic and world champion and two-time NCAA champion for Iowa State answers a question during a press conference held by the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling at the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Friday, March 22, 2013. Next to Gable are CPOW Chairman Olympic bronze medalist and NCAA champion for Nebraska Bill Scherr (left) and two-time NCAA champion for Wisconsin Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), center. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

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By Grant Burkhardt

DES MOINES, Iowa — Wrestling will survive, but wrestling needs the Olympics.

That was the main message Friday as members of the Committee for Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW) used the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship to further promote their cause — getting wrestling back in the Olympics.

The IOC voted to eliminate the sport after 2016, but groups like CPOW are forming all around the world with hopes of changing that decision, first in May in St. Petersburg, Russia, then in September in Buenos Aires.

“We need to impact, we need to change minds,” CPOW chairman Bill Scherr said. “The more united we are, the stronger we are.”

Scherr was joined by Congressman Jim Jordan, Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs and former Iowa coach and wrestling legend Dan Gable at a news conference inside Wells Fargo Arena.

“We’re definitely a brotherhood,” Burroughs said the wrestlers competing recently around the world.

That’s where the effort stands today — uniting politicians, wrestlers and fans around the world.

“I believe they (IOC) they are listening,” Scherr said.

Gable said people just need to do what’s right, whether wrestling is brough back as a core sport or a provisional one.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he said, likening his battle to the one he’s waged for years — making wrestling important in all 50 states.

But regardless of what happens in the future, wrestling is growing and “dynamic,” Scherr said.

“We want this momentum to turn into something positive” in the United States, he said.

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