PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Four-time Olympic wrestling medalist Bruce Baumgartner was shocked by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to discontinue wrestling starting with the 2020 summer games.
Baumgartner, currently the athletic director at Edinboro University, joins Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan’s Vinnie & Cook to react.
Baumgarter is glad to see that the wrestling community worldwide has rallied behind the cause.
“This is really an international effort. We understand that [President Vladimir] Putin from the Soviet Union, and the folks from Iran are pretty upset. I think you’re going to see a coalition of some unusual teammates teaming together to try to influence both politically and individually the decision-makers along the way,” Baumgarter said.
As for the effect the IOC’s decision will have on college and high school wrestling, Baumgartner said “I don’t think that the athletic director at Edinboro Univeristy, Pitt, or wherever there is wrestling is going, ‘you know, it’s not an Olympic sport…so we’re going to consider dropping it.” Obviously, there will be some trickle-down effect into the sport of wrestling, but I don’t think it will be devastating at first.”
Baumgartner was the U.S. Olympic Team’s flag-bearer at the 1996 games in Atlanta, and he notes that the IOC’s decision is not final.
“It’s not a done deal yet, so we’re hoping that between now and October, things will change,” Baumgarter said.
Listen to the interview here: