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|CPOW Weekly Update for May 14, 2013|
By Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling
SUMMARY: World Wrestling Month in the USA starts off with Curby Cup… Big wrestling events in New York City and Los Angeles will headline the action this coming week… NBC announces live television coverage from The Rumble on the Rails… TeamUSA.org to webcast live from Grand Central Terminal… Canada to host women’s event “Battle At The Falls” in Niagara Falls on May 31… CPOW function in Washington, D.C. a big success… Luncheon scheduled for United Nations… Billy Baldwin enlists celebrities to support United 4 Wrestling in Los Angeles… Local organizing committee for USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals donate $7, 882.12 to CPOW from special entry fees from wait listed participants…
The Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW) is issuing a weekly update on Mondays, informing the wrestling community and the general public on its activities.
CPOW is a group of wrestling leaders assembled by USA Wrestling. Its charge is to oversee the effort within the United States to Keep Wrestling In the Olympics, as part of a coordinated international strategy designed to retain wrestling in the Olympics.
Here are the key news items that developed in the last week on the international and domestic scenes.
International Relations News and Effort
• World Wrestling Month kicked off in the United States on May 11, at the Curby Cup in LaGrange, Ill. Four top Greco-Roman powers met for a dual meet event. A large crowd turned out for this event, which was webcast live on TheMat.com and taped for a future airing on the Fight Now TV network. Three teams ended the meet with identical 2-1 records: the USA, Hungary and Lithuania. Using tie-breaking criteria, Hungary took first place, followed by the USA in second and Lithuania in third, with Serbia taking fourth. Numerous Olympic and World medalists competed in the event. Two Americans finished with undefeated records, two-time Olympian Spenser Mango at 55 kg as well as Jordan Holm at 84 kg.
• Two more World Wrestling Month events will be held in the United States this coming week: The Rumble On The Rails, an event with the USA, Iran and Russia in historic Grand Central Terminal in New York City on May 15; and “United 4 Wrestling,” a USA vs. Iran freestyle wrestling dual in Los Angeles, Calif. on May 19. These events are gaining international media coverage, as an example of how the international wrestling community is coming together behind the effort to Keep Olympic Wrestling.
• USA Wrestling, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports combine to present “The Rumble on the Rails,” live wrestling on May 15. Nationally-televised matches of the USA vs. Iran freestyle wrestling dual meet will be on NBC Sports Network, 3:30-5 p.m. ET. Calling the action will be play-by-play announcer Jason Knapp, with color commentary from Olympic champion Rulon Gardner and reporter Jimmy Roberts. Coverage continues with USA vs. Russia from 6-7:30 p.m. ET on Universal Sports, featuring all three Olympic styles of wrestling. Knapp will handle the play-by-play of this event as well, with reporting from Roberts. There will also be coverage on NBC Sports Live Extra -- the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.
• A live video stream of The Rumble on the Rails will also be hosted on TeamUSA.org, the official website of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USA vs. Iran dual meet will be streamed at 3:30 p.m. ET, followed by the USA vs. Russia dual meet at 6:00 p.m.
• Wrestling Canada, in conjunction with USA Wrestling and the Ukrainian Wrestling Association, announced a spectacular wrestling tri-meet at Niagara Falls on May 31 on the last day of World Wrestling Month. The demonstration meet dubbed “Battle At The Falls”, will be wrestled in a tri-meet format, and will take place at the iconic Niagara Falls, a spectacular backdrop for these wrestling matches. The event, sanctioned by Wrestling Canada, is being organized locally by the Brock Wrestling Club in St. Catharines.
• On May 9, in Washington, D.C., CPOW hosted “Transending Borders and Barriers” at the Ronald Reagan Building of the North Tower Rotunda. Guests included CPOW chair Bill Scherr, Olympic champions Rulon Gardner, Henry Cejudo and Clarissa Chun and two-time Olympian Kerry McCoy. Attendees included members of the national, international, DC, Maryland, Virginia wrestling communities, embassies, agencies, USAID, Department of State and various representatives from politics and Capitol Hill. Numerous national and international media reports came from the meeting. ''I'm guardedly optimistic. 'I think it's an uphill battle, given the fact we're fighting against a process and a procedure as much as a reality,” said Scherr during the function. Gardner talked about how wrestling people around the world are rallying together for the cause. ''We need to go in, hold hands with the Russians, hold hands with the Iranians, hold hands with whoever it is and make friends,'' said Gardner.
• On Wednesday, May 14, at the delegates dining room at the United Nations in New York City, a special United Nationals luncheon will be hosted by CPOW, with United Nations delegates and international media among those invited. CPOW member and award winning actor Billy Baldwin will serve as emcee. CPOW chair Bill Scherr will speak, along with FILA Acting President Nenad Lalovic all who will help tell the story about international wrestling. This will immediately follow a morning press conference which will feature athletes and coaches involved in the competition in Grand Central Terminal on May 15.
• CPOW member and actor Billy Baldwin has formed a strong team from the entertainment and sports industries to support Olympic wrestling and “United 4 Wrestling,” a friendly dual meet between the USA and Iran on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Baldwin has gained the endorsements of his brother, Alec Baldwin, and celebrity friends such as actors Ashton Kutcher, Matthew Modine, Nate Parker, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Steve Buscemi and Tom Arnold, comedian Jay Mohr, entertainment show host Mario Lopez, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes Chael Sonnen and Randy Couture, and former NFL player Mike Golic to join him in his mission to keep wrestling as a core sport in the Olympics.
• The local organizing committee for the USA Wrestling Folkstyle National Championships made a special presentation of a check for $7, 882.12 to CPOW for the effort to Keep Olympic Wrestling during the Northern Plains Regional Championships in Waterloo, Iowa this past weekend. The organizers of the Folkstyle Nationals sold out the Junior and Cadet divisions of the tournament, held at the UNIDome on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa in April. They decided to allow athletes on the wait list to enter the tournament, with all of the funds from those entry fees donated to CPOW. Making the presentation of the check were USA Wrestling Iowa state chairperson Mark Reiland, Northern Iowa head wrestling coach and 2008 Olympian Mark Schwab and LOC event director Steve Knipp. Derek Sikora of USA Wrestling accepted the check on behalf of CPOW.
We ask one thing from the wrestling community. Please stay informed and stay involved. You can do this by registering on www.KeepOlympicWrestling.com. We will give you weekly updates on the activities of CPOW and the international wrestling community so you can truly be a part of the solution.