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Indiana State Wrestling Assoc. presents $3,307.30 to CPOW at USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals in Iowa

ISWA State Chairman Louis Rosbottom and the members of the Indiana delegation present a check to Pete Isais of USA Wrestling with their $3,307.30 contribution to Keep Olympic Wrestling. Jason Bryant photo

In a strong show of support, the Indiana State Wrestling Association (ISWA), USA Wrestling’s state association in Indiana, made a donation of $3,307.30 to the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW) and USA Wrestling to support the effort to Keep Olympic Wrestling during the USA Wrestling Folkstyle National Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa this weekend.

On Feb. 12, 2013, the news broke that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board recommended to remove wrestling as a core sport in the Olympic program beginning in 2020. From that moment on, the wrestling community around the nation and world rose to the challenge.

Within a week, USA Wrestling formed the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW), a committee of wrestling leaders dedicated to retaining Olympic wrestling.

ISWA state chairperson Louis Rosbottom was among those in the nation outraged by the IOC’s recommendation.

“When the news [about the IOC Executive Board decision] came out, it was pretty devastating,” said Rosbottom. “The formation of the committee gave us an opportunity to actually do something concrete in helping the kids in the state and the people in the state of Indiana.”

Rosbottom pitched the idea of raising money after the initial formation of CPOW in February. An idea was born to collect donations at the Indiana State Championships, beginning with the Folkstyle State Championships in March.

The booth raised over $1,500 at that tournament, a figure which the ISWA matched to produce the final sum of over $3,000. The ISWA plans on doing the same kind of fundraiser at their Greco-Roman and Freestyle State Championships in the beginning of May, said Rosbottom.

Fundraising the money and presenting the oversized check last weekend was a proud moment for Rosbottom. Among those that helped present the check were Olympic medalists Sammie Henson and Brandon Paulson and Olympians Melvin Douglas and Jake Herbert.

“I was very excited about the commitment and the generosity of the families of wrestlers and wrestlers themselves in Indiana. It made me really proud to represent them, because this is a very important issue,” he said. “It’s good to see that our people understand that and are taking some real action to help solve this issue.”

In addition to their own generous donation, Rosbottom and the ISWA had one more thing to add: a call to action for other state associations.

“We really believe that it will take a lot more resources than what we were able to raise. We’d like to challenge each and every state association to step up to meet or beat our donation,” Rosbottom said. “If each state would step up and donate $1 for each wrestler, that’d be about $180,000. I’m very committed to help resolve this issue. Everyone is still in a state of disbelief that anybody would put wrestling out of the Olympics. This is an opportunity to reach out to those people and to reach out to the wrestling community and make a bold statement about how we feel about it.”
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