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|MIKE NOVOGRATZ LETTER: Coming together to help Keep Olympic Wrestling
Mike Novogratz CPOW Spokesman
The global wrestling community has come together on a scale never seen before to keep wrestling in the Olympic Games. From every corner of the world, citizens, government officials, the media and wrestlers are raising their voices to make their opinion heard that wrestling is good for the Olympic movement. At the extreme end we have seen hunger strikes and returned medals. The world is feeling the passion for this ancient sport.
Here, in the United States, we have assembled an outstanding group of business leaders, PR and marketing professionals and legendary wrestlers and coaches to help lead our efforts.
As you may have seen at last week's NCAA Championships, our voice is loud and our message is starting to make an impact. In fact, 38 governors from across the nation have supported our cause and we have seen thousands of press articles in support of restoring wrestling to the Olympic Games.
On the international front, we have taken significant actions in the past month through wrestling's governing body, FILA, to make important changes to the sport. It started with the decision to install new leadership at FILA, but we also are addressing concerns raised by the IOC, such as rule-changes, marketing and being more inclusive with added diversity in our leadership. In addition, we are working to establish a global coalition of countries to work together.
Over the next few months, we will be sharing more of the changes we are proposing as we begin to showcase a new and even stronger international wrestling body to the IOC. Our goal is to show that we are a strong, growing, inclusive and exciting global sport - an international sport that is strong enough to make key changes needed to positively impact more than the 177 countries that wrestle, but also helping to improve the Olympic movement itself.
We are gaining momentum, but we can not do it alone. We need the continued support, fund raising and help from the wrestling community now more than ever. Our time window is short because the IOC's Board of Directors is scheduled to make decisions in May on three provisional sports for possible inclusion in the Olympic Games, followed by a full vote by the entire IOC in September. We have already shown the passion and commitment, that is inherent in wrestlers to fight for what is right, but we also need to motivate others to join us. In other words, we have done well in the first period, but we have to finish out the match strong. We need your help and support more than ever.
Please go to the website, www.keepolympicwrestling.com for more information about how you can get involved - Make a donation, sign a petition, sign-up for e-mail updates and spread the word.
As always, thank you for your efforts. Let's come together and show them what is best about wrestling and why wrestling is good for the Games!
Mike Novogratz is the Spokesman for the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling.