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MOSCOW, February 16 (Itar-Tass) – The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov has addressed the International Olympic Committee with a request for keeping sports wrestling on the Olympic agenda. The letter addressed to IOC President Jacques Rogge was published on the ROC official website.
The IOC Executive on February 12 suggested excluding sports wrestling from the agenda of the 2020 Summer Olympics, saying its recommendation was based on the detailed consideration of all 26 sports represented at the 2012 Olympics in London.
“I will not make a secret of the deep disappointment millions of Russians and myself experienced at the February 12, 2013 decision by the IOC Executive to suggest removing sports wrestling from the agenda of the 32nd winter Olympics,” the message runs. “Soviet and Russian athletes have performed successfully and won 77 gold medals over the years of their participation in the Olympic Games. Our country has created specialized wrestling centers and hundreds and thousands of children go there. They have Olympic ambitions and it would be just unfair to shatter their hopes for winning Olympic gold medals some day.”
“The reason for the universal surprise is clear,” Zhukov said. “Wrestling is not just a sport. It is part and parcel of the Olympic tradition. It was an Olympic event in the antiquity. Wrestling helps develop the qualities the Olympic spirit implies. It is linked inseparably with the Olympic philosophy and its values. Wrestling is very democratic and available. This is possibly why it has survived many centuries and young people still do this sport in al continents, irrespective of the color of skin, religion or material status. The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles unites over 120 national federations. This figure speaks for itself.”
“We do hope that sports wrestling will be present on the list of the Olympic events in 2020. I do hope for your support and an opportunity to discuss this issue with you at any time convenient to you,” Zhukov said.