Central Nebraska Wrestlers Disappointed with IOC

Mike Schadwinkel developed a passion for wrestling during the 1984 Olympic games.

"That dream of wanting to be involved in this sport and wanting to wrestle in the Olympics really started to come alive for me," Schadwinkel, the Grand Island wrestling coach, said.

However, news from the International Olympic Committee almost pinnned Schadwinkel and wrestlers around the world Tuesday.
Their decision to drop the sport beginning at the 2020 games has many in disbelief.

"It's rage, it's disappointment, it's shock," Schadwinkel said.

The decision factored in, among other things, TV ratings, global participation, and popularity.
But the sport does have history. IT'S been part of the modern games since their founding in 1896.

"The first Olympics had two events - wrestling and track, or a running event," Marc Bauer, the UNK wrestling coach, said. "It's something that's just a rich tradition. Not just here in the United States, but it's worldwide. "

Coaches like Bauer and Schadwinkel aren't just worried about the past. They're concerned about the future as well.

"What happens to our college wrestling programs? What happens to our high school programs," Schadwinkel said. "Is this something that going to wipe out our sport?"

"This is going to have a major effect all around the world," Bauer said. "It's just disappointing because there are so many men who want to go on and have something beyond high school and college. If that's taken away, what other opportunities are there out there? There's not a lot of opportunities."

UNK junior Patrick Martinez hopes to compete after school.
He's also worried about those who look up to champions of the sport.

"That's their ultimate goal," Martinez said. "And without that being an option, I don't know what kids are going to look forward to in the sport of wrestling."

There are already countless people trying for an escape move on the committee's decision.
Bauer and Schadwinkel say the IOC hasn't heard the end of it.

"They're going to have their hands full because the wrestling world, even though it's not a top-tier sport here in the United States, it is a huge sport all over the world," Bauer said. "I cannot begin to tell you how many young men's and young women's lives it is a part of right now."


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