Wednesday, May 29, 2013

UPDATED: Wrestling one of 3 candidate sports placed on short list for 2020 Olympics by IOC Executive Board

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – The International Olympic Committee Executive Board announced that wrestling was in a group of three sports which have been selected for the short list of candidate sports for the final provisional sport spot in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.

The other sports which were named to the short list of sports were squash and baseball/softball.

These sports will be presented for a final vote by the entire IOC General Assembly in its meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September. Only one of these sports will be included in the 2020 and 2024 Olympics.

The sports which were not selected to advance to the final vote in Buenos Aires were karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.

FILA, the international wrestling federation, made a presentation to the IOC Executive Board today to make its case for inclusion in the Olympic Games. Making the presentation was an all-star group of wrestling leaders, including new FILA President Nenad Lalovic of Serbia and four past Olympic athletes, Jim Scherr of the United States, Carol Huynh of Canada, Daniel Igali of Nigeria and Canada and Lise Legrand of France.

"This is good news for wrestling, but obviously this is going to be a process," USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender said. "The first part of the process is complete, and we're on to the next and most important part of the process. There is a lot of work ahead, but we're up to the challenge. The entire wrestling world needs to continue to push forward. We need to continue to work diligently and make upgrades and changes to the sport to ensure we are successful in Buenos Aires."

Wrestling was placed in this position on February 12, when the IOC Executive Board made a shocking recommendation that wrestling be removed as a core sport for the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling has been a part of the Olympic Games since its inception, as a featured sport in the ancient Olympic Games, as well as a sport in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896.

“USA Wrestling is pleased with the decision of the International Olympic Committee Executive Board to select wrestling as one of the three sports on the short list for consideration for a position in the 2020 Olympic Games program," USA Wrestling President Jim Ravannack said. "This outcome was made possible by the hard work and dedication of the worldwide wrestling community. USA Wrestling has taken a leadership role in supporting FILA in its efforts to improve our sport and retain its Olympic status. I want to thank all Americans who have stepped up in the last few months for wrestling, especially those who are involved in USA Wrestling’s grassroots programs, working daily on behalf of our nation’s young people. There is much more work to be done, and we look forward to the challenges ahead. We believe in our leadership team and in the passion of the wrestling community as it pursues the goal of remaining an Olympic sport.”

The international wrestling community has rallied in the effort to Keep Olympic Wrestling. Lalovic was named Acting President of FILA just days after the IOC recommendation after the resignation of former president Raphael Martinetti in February. Lalovic was elected as president during the FILA Extraordinary Congress in Moscow, Russia earlier this month. FILA has also approved a number of major changes in the sport, which included governance reforms which expands the inclusion of women and athletes in the sport, as well as a revision of the competition rules of the sport designed to make wrestling more dynamic.

"Wrestling took a welcome and necessary step forward today when the IOC EB placed us on the short list for The general assembly in Buenos Aires," said Bill Scherr, Chairman of the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling. "We are jubilant yet humbled by the IOC decision as we realize that it is a recognition of our hard work in reforming the governance of the sport and changing the rules and presentation of wrestling. Yet we realize this is only a start and that now we must re-double our efforts if we are to succeed in remaining on the Olympic program. As Chair of CPOW, I call upon all wrestlers and fans to join me in leading wrestling forward into the future. We must continue to improve FILA and their staff capabilities and governance structure. The new rules of the sport must be adopted and refined. Gender equity should be a rallying cry of our movement. Digital and social media must move ahead. The sport needs to expand its horizons and appeal to those outside our normal base. But most of all, we must all unite together behind this cause of wrestling. We open our arms to all interested in helping the greatest and ancient sport of wrestling. We will honor the legacy of those ancient warriors who came before us by preserving wrestlings Olympic position for generations to come."

Igali, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist for Canada, was confident wrestling would be selected following its presentation with the IOC Executive Board.

"I am extremely excited that wrestling was short-listed for inclusion along with baseball/softball and squash," Igali said. "That wrestling was mentioned first means we may have had the most votes in this first round of voting. FILA has made enormous changes to its governance process, including changes in wrestling rules. I have my fingers crossed for wrestling to get its fair placing in Buenos Aires in September."

Statement from FILA

FILA Pleased That IOC Short-Lists Wrestling for Final Vote in September

St. Petersburg, Russia – Nenad Lalovic, the newly elected President of FILA, expressed the organization’s satisfaction following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board decision to include wrestling as one the sports under consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.

President Lalovic noted that “While our place in the Olympic Games is still not guaranteed, this decision recognizes the great lengths to which we are going to reform our sport and address the IOC’s concerns.

At FILA’s recent Extraordinary Congress we enacted a number of rule and governance changes and we hope that our continued efforts will ensure we are successful at the final vote in September. We recognize that there is still a long road ahead but we will continue to work to preserve our place in the Olympic Games.”

More information about the reforms is available on FILA’s website,

The IOC’s 100 delegates will convene in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7th to cast a final vote on which one of the short-listed sports will be included in the 2020 Olympic Program.

Statement from the International Olympic Committee

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) today recommended that baseball/softball, squash and wrestling be proposed to the 125th IOC Session for possible inclusion as an additional sport on the Olympic programme for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The EB selected the three sports by secret ballot from a shortlist of eight that also included karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. The vote followed 30-minute presentations by each International Federation and an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission to determine their potential added value to the Games.

The full IOC membership will meet for the 125th Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 7 to 10 September and will vote on which of the three sports to add to the programme of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in addition to the 25 core sports – plus golf and rugby sevens* – proposed by the EB in February.

“The Executive Board received excellent presentations today from eight International Federations,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “It was never going to be an easy decision but I feel my colleagues on the Board made a good decision in selecting baseball/softball, squash and wrestling to be put forward in Buenos Aires. I wish the three shortlisted sports the best of luck in the run-up to the vote in September and would like to thank the other sports for their hard work and dedication.”

In an effort to ensure the Olympic Games remain relevant to sports fans of all generations, the Olympic Programme Commission systematically reviews every sport following each edition of the Games. The Commission uses 39 criteria in determining a sport’s suitability for the Olympic Games, including youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes and respect for the Olympic values.

*Golf and rugby sevens were added in 2009 as additional sports to the 2016 Olympic programme.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Save Olympic Wrestling

William Baldwin

William Baldwin


The sport of wrestling received some terrific news from the International Olympic Committee on May 29th. Olympic wrestling is being recommended as one of three sports to be accepted provisionally in the Olympics for 2020 and beyond. The international wrestling community is both jubilant and grateful for the Executive Board's decision.
The next big step comes in September, when the entire voting body of the IOC will convene in Buenos Aires to cast their final vote on the fate of wrestling as an Olympic sport.

In my opinion, wrestling represents the very essence of the Olympic Games. It has competed in every Olympic Games in the modern era (except 1900) and is one of the original sports to compete in the ancient games as well -- dating back to 708 BC.
Seventy-one nations competed in the 2012 London Games with medalists from 29 nations. Wrestlers compete on every continent, in rich countries and poor, democracies and dictatorships. It is a sport that transcends cultural, political and socio-economic boundaries. All of that was brilliantly displayed on May 16th in New York City when the international wrestling community was able to do what no sitting American president has done in my lifetime. It brought together the United States, Russia and Iran. All three united with the same objective, to save Olympic wrestling.
In the United States, wrestling is more than just a sport; it is one the most fascinating subcultures that I have ever had the honor and the privilege of experiencing. The people involved in the sport, from the athletes to the coaches to the fans, are the most passionate and honorable people I have ever met. People from places like Waterloo, Iowa; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Wrestling has nearly 300,000 high school competitors today; it is the sixth most popular high school sport. If you were to eliminate wrestling from the Olympic Games it would be unthinkable for American athletes, but we are afforded the luxury of being able to compete in many other sports in the Olympics. Imagine how bad it would be for a boy living in a remote village in Iran where it is their national sport. Or a girl living on a farm in Russia where wrestling is an obsession, or scores of other less privileged nations where there are not as many opportunities as we are blessed with here in the United States. It would be devastating.
In February, the IOC spoke. They said that the sport of wrestling needed to change in order to be considered as a sport for the Olympic programme in the modern era. The international wrestling community responded in decisive and impressive fashion. They introduced sweeping reforms that addressed several of the IOC's concerns. First, they changed the antiquated and dysfunctional leadership at FILA, the governing body that represents wrestling to the IOC. Second, they changed the rules in a way that not only promotes offense and scoring, but also make scoring easier to understand for the viewing audiences. Third, they will use new technologies and social media to brand and promote wrestling in the most cutting edge ways available. Lastly, they have introduced an unprecedented level of involvement for women not only as athletes in the sport but also in positions of leadership and governance as well.
We have been busy for the past several months but this fight is not over. We have survived this first round but we have a long way to go. The vote in Buenos Aires in September is the one that will determine our ultimate fate. Wrestling enthusiasts around the world should not take this vote for granted. They should not become complacent. We need to learn from our past mistakes and keep "the pedal to the medal" so that we can send a strong message to the IOC and around the world that wrestling, the oldest and greatest sport of all, is not only a charter member of the Olympic Games but a permanent member of the Olympic family.
For years now I have been listening to the Mount Rushmore of American wrestling -- Gable, Smith, Baumgartner, Sanderson and many others -- talk about how we can make the sport of wrestling bigger and better. More athletes, more fans, more exciting, more profitable. This shot over the bow of wrestling from the IOC could be the wakeup call we have been waiting for. Never before have I witnessed more outrage, more passion, and more interest for our beloved sport than the sweeping tide of support that has been demonstrated by the global community since February. This is a big opportunity for us, our big chance. Let's take advantage of this international outpouring of support for wrestling and use it to elevate our sport to heights we never dreamed possible.
In spirit of the sport, 
William Baldwin

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wrestling is the oldest known sport, dating back to prehistoric times. Today it’s the fourth most common sport in which athletes from different schools compete against each other. There are more than 50 kinds of wrestling. The most common types include folkstyle, freestyle, Greco-Roman, sumo, and professional.
As in many sports, the risk of injury increases with age due to the style of play, contact forces, and size of athletes. However, the risk of injuries can be reduced.
The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about how to prevent wrestling injuries. Also included is an overview of common injuries.

Injury prevention and safety tips

  • Sports physical exam. Athletes should have a preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE) to make sure they are ready to safely begin the sport. The best time for a PPE is about 4 to 6 weeks before the beginning of the season. Athletes also should see their doctors for routine well-child checkups.
  • Fitness. Athletes should maintain a good fitness level during the season and off-season. Preseason training should allow time for general conditioning and sport-specific conditioning. Also important are proper warm-up and cool-down exercises.
  • Technique. Athletes should learn and practice safe techniques for performing the skills that are integral to their sport. Athletes should work with coaches and athletic trainers on achieving proper technique.
  • Equipment. Wrestlers should wear headgear with ear protectors. Mats should be cleaned daily with antibacterial cleaner.

Healthy weight loss

Excessive or improper weight loss can result in various health problems including delayed physical growth, eating disorders, depression, increased risk of infectious disease, and heat illness. Wrestlers may also have less strength, slower reaction time, and less endurance; school performance may be affected too. Extreme exercise or rapid weight loss can contribute to heat stroke, kidney failure, or death.
Junior high athletes are still growing, and most should not lose weight to participate in wrestling. High school and college wrestlers may wish to lose weight to participate at their minimal weight.
When losing weight, athletes should not lose more than 1.5% of their body weight each week. If they lose that amount, they will mostly lose fat. However, athletes that lose any more weight will also begin to lose muscle mass. Losing muscle will make the wrestler weaker.
A healthy diet is important during any period of weight loss. Athletes should eat a variety of foods from all food groups. The diet should also provide enough energy (calories) to support growth, daily physical activities, and sports activities. They should also drink enough fluids to stay hydrated.
Once the weight is lost and the desired weight is met, that weight should be maintained. Athletes that maintain their weight have a higher resting metabolic rate than those whose weight fluctuates regularly. As a result, they can eat more without gaining weight.
For more information about a healthy weight loss program contact the National Wrestling Coaches’ Association Internet Weight Classification Program (717/653-8009). Consulting a sports nutritionist also may be helpful.
Warning: The use of rubber suits, steam baths or saunas, prolonged fasting, fluid restriction, vomiting, drugs, laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, stimulants, ergogenic aids, and supplements for weight loss should be prohibited at all ages.

Skin conditions

The National Federation of State High School Associates 2006–2007 Rule Book states that “if the participant is suspected of having a communicable skin disease, the coach must provide written documentation from a doctor that the condition is not communicable and that the athlete’s participation would not be harmful to any opponent.” It does not list specific skin conditions. However, herpes gladiatorum, methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus, and chickenpox all may cause severe disease, and infected wrestlers should be disqualified.

Common Injuries

Head/face injuries

Nosebleeds occur frequently in wrestling. The bleeding may be stopped by putting pressure on the nose, placing a plug in the nose, or using an pro-coagulant, a medicine that helps the blood clot, into the bleeding area of the nose.
Cuts or scrapes usually occur on the face and often require suturing or glue. Sutures should remain in longer for wrestlers than for non-wrestlers, because of repeated injuries in the same location.
Concussion. Wrestlers with a concussion should not wrestle any more that day. They can return to wrestling only after they are symptom-free and have seen a doctor.
Cauliflower ear is the result of recurrent friction to the ear. It is best prevented with the use of properly fitted headgear with ear protectors during practice and competition. Cauliflower ears should be treated early (within 24 hours) by draining the ear and using compression dressings. They tend to reoccur with further trauma to the ear. Most athletes who have wrestled for many years without proper headgear have them.

Shoulder injuries

Acromioclavicular (AC) separation or clavicle fracture occurs when the wrestler falls on or is thrown directly onto the shoulder on the mat. Treatment of both is rest to allow healing; usually 3 to 4 weeks for AC sprains and 2 to 3 months for clavicle fractures.
Anterior shoulder dislocation is the result of forced abduction and rotation (pulled up and away from the body) of the arm and should be relocated as quickly as possible by the athlete or an athletic trainer or doctor.

Elbow injuries

Elbow dislocation is caused by a fall on an outstretched arm and hand. It should be relocated by an experienced athletic trainer or doctor as soon as possible.
Olecranon bursitis (irritation of the fluid-filled sac that protects the bone) is caused by repeated trauma to the point of the elbow. Swelling of the point of the elbow is the main symptom. It should be treated with rest, ice, compression, and an elbow pad. If that does not work, it may need to be drained and/or injected with medicine.

Knee injuries

Prepatellar bursitis is the result of a fall on a bent knee or from repeated kneeling. The main symptom is significant swelling on the front of the knee. It can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and a knee pad. It may also need to be drained and/or injected with medicine to reduce the swelling.
Patella dislocation is when the kneecap comes out of place causing instant disability and swelling. Treatment is reduction (putting the kneecap back in place) followed by physical therapy to strengthen the thigh and hip. A patella stabilizing brace may also be needed.
Medial collateral ligament sprain is caused by a direct blow to the outside of the knee. Treatment is usually brace support and physical therapy.
Anterior cruciate ligament tears usually occur from a strong twisting or hyperextension of the knee. A pop is usually heard or felt, and significant swelling occurs within 24 hours. Referral to an orthopedic doctor is required.
Meniscal tears are the result of a twisting injury while weight bearing or squatting. Symptoms may include painful popping or locking, and swelling in the knee. These can be initially managed with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, but most will eventually require surgery.

Back pain

Muscle strains are common causes of back pain. The pain is usually located in the lower back, but if it radiates to the buttock or down the leg it should be evaluated immediately. Once the cause of the pain is identified, rest, bracing, and/or physical therapy may be needed.


Wrestling injuries can be prevented with proper supervision and compliance with the rules and safety guidelines in place for wrestling.

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Care of the Young Athlete Patient Education Handouts (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.