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Minnesota House passes resolution supporting Olympic wrestling
Meagan Templeton-Lynch USA Wrestling

Majority Leader Erin Murphy, Speaker Paul Thissen, Minority Leader Kurt Daudt and Rep. Bob Dettmer at the signing of the Minnesota House resolution supporting Olympic wrestling.

The Minnesota House recently passed a resolution expressing its opposition to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board recommendation to remove wrestling as a core sport of the Olympics beginning in 2020.

The Minnesota resolution, introduced by State Representative Bob Dettmer, opposes the IOC ruling to remove freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling from the 25 core sports of Olympics, expressing the importance the sport of wrestling has to the state of Minnesota, the United States and the Olympic Games. After approval, the resolution was signed by Dettmer,

Wrestling is a very popular sport in Minnesota high schools, with a total of 8,137 high school boys and girls wrestling in the 2011-12 year.

Minnesota USA Wrestling had over 5,200 members last year and offers a complete program of events and opportunities for wrestlers of all levels in the state. It is one of the most effective and respected state associations.

Minnesota has produced Olympic wrestling medalists, including two-time Olympic medalist Dennis Koslowski, Olympic silver medalist Brandon Paulson, Olympic bronze medalists Jim Martinez and Garrett Lowney, three-time Olympian Dan Chandler, two-time Olympians Ali Bernard, Michial Foy, Jim Hazewinkel and Dave Hazewinkel, Olympians Chas Betts, Jake Deitchler, David Zuniga, Gordy Morgan, John Morgan, Duane Koslowski, Brian Gust, Alan Rice and others, along with numerous World medalists and Team members.

Among the U.S. states, Minnesota has a long tradition in the Olympic style of Greco-Roman wrestling, producing top athletes and coaches for generations.

Minnesota has a strong tradition in college wrestling, with 13 programs including NCAA Div. I program University of Minnesota, NCAA Div. II programs Minnesota State University-Mankato, Minnesota State University-Moorhead Southwest Minnesota State University, St. Cloud State University, Div. III college programs Augsburg College, Concordia College, St. John’s University and St. Olaf College and NJCAA programs Itasca Community College, Minnesota West Community College, Ridgewater College and Rochester Community and Tech College.

Wrestlers in Minnesota are from very diverse backgrounds, as the sport provides opportunities for all.

Minnesota joins other states around the U.S., including California and Kentucky that have stepped up to support wrestling as an Olympic sport through their state governments.

A House resolution expressing opposition to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to remove freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling from the Olympic Games beginning in 2020

WHEREAS, the State of Minnesota is home to thousands of collegiate and professional wrestling athletes and many that advance to national and international competition; and

WHEREAS, the United States is a key competitor in international wrestling competition, especially the Olympic Games, with 124 medals having been awarded to the United States throughout history; and

WHEREAS, the sport of wrestling is fundamentally important to the success of the United States in overall Olympic Games competition; and

WHEREAS, Greco-Roman wrestling has been part of Olympic competition since 1896, including participation by a Minnesotan on the United State team in every summer Olympic Games since 1968; and

WHEREAS, wrestling is a foundational activity for Minnesota’s youth and overall economic activity, which is made more robust by the ultimate potential for Olympic success; and

WHEREAS, wrestling is a foundational sport for the University of Minnesota, and Minnesota has a unique asset in Head Coach J Robinson; and

WHEREAS, the city of Minneapolis hopes to contend for consideration as a future site of the Olympic Games; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Committee on Rules and Legislative Administration of the House of Representatives of the State of Minnesota that it opposes the IOC ruling that freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling not be included in the 25 athletic competitions of the Olympics Games given the immense local and global impact that ruling will have.

Dated: March 20, 2013

Paul Thissen, Speaker
Minnesota House of Representatives

Erin Murphy, Chair
Rules and Legislative Administration

Bob Dettmer
State Representative

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