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Kentucky House of Representatives passes resolution supporting wrestling in the Olympic Games

Kentucky USA Wrestling State Chairman Keith Smith, Ryle High School Coach Tim Ruschell, State Representative Steve Riggs and Olympic wrestling hopeful and Kentucky native Kyle Ruschell pose together with a Keep Olympic Wrestling shirt at the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

On Monday, March 11, the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky approved a resolution supporting wrestling to be included in the Olympic Games.

HR 158 was introduced by State Representatives Steve Riggs (D) and Brian Linder (R), which was overwhelmingly approved by voice vote.

On hand to support this legislation was Kyle Ruschell, a native of Crittenden, Kentucky, who is a top Olympic hopeful in men’s freestyle wrestling. Ruschell was a two-time NCAA All-American for the University of Wisconsin and is currently training in hopes of making the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Members of Ruschell’s family were in attendance to support the legislation.

In addition, Kentucky USA Wrestling state chairperson Keith Smith of Radcliff was on hand to represent the wrestlers of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as well as USA Wrestling.

A number of other states are currently working on similar legislation to support wrestling.

A RESOLUTION urging the International Olympic Committee to keep wrestling as part of the Summer Olympics Program.

WHEREAS, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee has proposed eliminating the sport of wrestling from the Summer Olympic Games beginning in 2020, which proposal remains to be approved or disapproved by the full Committee at its September 2013 general assembly; and

WHEREAS, wrestling was one of the original sports of the ancient Greek Olympic Games and of the first modern Olympic Games; and

WHEREAS, wrestling has been a traditional strength of the United States Olympic team, with one hundred and twenty-four medals having been awarded to the United States throughout history; and

WHEREAS, the sport of wrestling builds great strength not only of body but also of character, including the virtues of self-confidence, self-discipline, courage, and sportsmanship; and

WHEREAS, wrestling has produced many outstanding national leaders, including Presidents, United States Supreme Court Justices, United States Senators, members of Congress, and business and military leaders, as well as many outstanding leaders in the Commonwealth of Kentucky; and

WHEREAS, there are thousands of student athletes in the Commonwealth of Kentucky that participate in wrestling at the high school and collegiate level; and

WHEREAS, many of these young Kentuckians dream of representing the United States on the international stage at the Olympic Games and would be on the cusp of realizing their Olympic dreams in 2020, when the International Olympic Committee is set to remove one of the most time-honored, traditional sporting events not only on the Summer Olympics Program, but in the history of sport;


Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

 Section 1. The members of the House of Representatives do hereby urge the International Olympic Committee to reinstate wrestling as a core sport of the Summer Olympic Games.

 Section 2. The House of Representatives thanks the United States Olympic Committee for its continued support of wrestling, and urges it to work actively toward the reinstatement of Olympic wrestling.

 Section 3. The Clerk of the House of Representatives is directed to transmit three copies of this Resolution to Richard Bender, Executive Director, USA Wrestling, 6155 Lehman Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918; Keith Smith, Kentucky State Director, USA Wrestling, 2006 South Woodland Drive, Radcliff, Kentucky 40160; and the United States Olympic Committee, 27 South Tejon, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.
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