Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds have joined Iowa’s Congressional Delegation in penning a letter to the International Olympic Committee asking them to reverse a decision that would eliminate wrestling from the Olympic Games.
The bipartisan letter says, QUOTE, “The same spirit of competition that drove ancient wrestlers and early modern Olympians has transcended generations, and here in Iowa, we are the beneficiaries of this spirit.”
It also says the government leaders disagree with the IOC’s statement that: QUOTE “This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics.” The leaders write, QUOTE, “Renewing or renovating the Olympics should respect important Olympic traditions. Unfortunately, this IOC decision ignores wrestling’s rich Olympic tradition.”
The letter is signed not only by the governor and Lt. Governor, but also Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, and all four Iowa Congressmen: Tom Latham, Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack, and Steve King.
King, the Congressman who now represents District 4, which includes most of northern and western Iowa also released a statement that says QUOTE: ““Wrestling has deep roots in our great state, but this is an Olympic sport that extends well beyond Iowa and the United States. It is popular in many of the world’s largest countries,” said King. “Wrestling is a sport of great strength, determination and perseverance – all characteristics that embody the Iowa spirit.”
King says, QUOTE: “This decision eliminates a storied tradition from the Games. I encourage the IOC to rethink its stance and allow wrestling to remain in the 2020 Olympic Games and beyond, and I am pleased that I had the opportunity to join the Governor, Lt. Governor and my colleagues in Congress in delivering that strong message to the IOC today.”