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HS sports governing body responds to Olympic decision on wrestling

Posted Feb 14, 2013 by Nick Williams

Updated Feb 14, 2013 at 04:17 PM

Bob Gardner, the National Federation of State High School Federations, issued a statement Wednesday in response to the International Olympic Committee’s decision to drop wrestling from 2020 Olympic Games

The IOC removed the sport as part of a “renewing and renovation” process for Olympic games.

“The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is extremely disappointed in the International Olympic Committee’s recommendation to drop the sport of wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games,” Gardner said in a statement. “Wrestling has been a core sport at the high school, college and Olympic levels for more than 100 years. More than 272,000 boys are involved in high school wrestling programs and it is the sixth-most popular sport. Recently, the interest by girls in the sports has accelerated and now more than 8,200 girls are wrestling across the country.”

The removal of wrestling from the Olympics eliminates the dream of representing the USA for thousands of youths at high school programs like Brandon, which has won 12 consecutive state championships and produced dozens of Division I athletes.

Since 1920, The National Federation of State High School Associations has led the development of education -based interscholastic sports and activities that help students succeed in their lives. We set directions for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities.

The NFHS, from its offices in Indianapolis, Indiana, serves its 50 member state high school athletic/activity associations, plus the District of Columbia. The NFHS publishes playing rules in 16 sports for boys and girls competition and administers fine arts programs in speech, theater, debate and music. It provides a variety of program initiatives that reach the 18,500 high schools and over 11 million students involved in athletic and activity programs.

“Wrestling was one of the original sports in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and more than 200 nations compete in the sport,” Gardner said. “In certain areas of our nation, one of the hardest tickets to find is to the state high school wrestling tournament. While the sport is healthy and vibrant at the American high school level, it should also remain a part of the world’s most treasured sporting event – the Olympic Games.”

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