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MOSCOW, February 13 (Itar-Tass) – The International Olympic Committee’s recommendation for dropping wrestling from the agenda of Summer Olympics is absurd, to say the least, says renowned Russian coach, who has reared several generations of Olympic champions, Dmitry Mindiashvili.
“This proposal is sheer nonsense,” Mindiashvili, the coach of three times Olympic champion in freestyle wrestling, Buvaisar Saitiyev, told Itar-Tass in an interview on Wednesday. “Without wrestling the Olympic Games will be tasteless, like a good dish without salt. May the IOC functionaries recall that wrestling is one of the oldest sports, it has been part and parcel of the Olympic Games since the days of ancient Greece. Wrestling is a symbol of all competitions. Just look at the wonderful young athletes it produces. Our sport makes the best athletes.
Mindashvili, the holder of many academic titles, sees a likely solution this way.
“I believe that the issue must be resolved at the level of governments of all countries that are great wrestling powers, and there are quite a few of them. Messages should be dispatched to the IOC and to the UN. The rights of our sport are to be fought for.”
Asked why wrestling is under threat, Mindiashvili offered this opinion: “Apparently, some find wrestling not thrilling enough. But wrestling is not a show. It is to be seen and understood. Classical music does not gather capacity audiences on all occasions, but that does not make classical music worse.”