CARSON CITY, NV - When you think of the Olympics what sports come to mind? Your first response may not be wrestling. But the sport was in the original Greek Olympics. Wrestling has been part of the modern Olympics since 1896. But that all could change s the International Olympic Committee Executive Board decided to drop wrestling beginning in the 2020 Summer Games.
Local wrestlers and their coaches are stunned by the decision.
It's P.E. For seventh and 8th graders here at Carson Middle School.
While most of the guys may not appreciate the wrestling moves they are learning in class, its not the same story for their teacher Paul Carter.
He's currently a wrestling coach and competed in high school and college.
“For us, the college level, the NCAA level, also the Olympics, yea that's the top of the sport,” says Carter.
“It gave me the opportunity to get the kind of education this legacy I have in Nevada as historian archivist I owe it all to wrestling,” says Guy Rocha who made it in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009.
Rocha too wrestled in high school down in Las Vegas and received a full ride scholarship to Syracuse.
Word that the International Olympic Committee wants to drop the sport by the 20-20 games he says took the breath out of him.
“Maybe this will be a measure for the IOC to understand how much of the world embraces the sport and how many lives, both men and women have been touched by wrestling,” says Rocha.
The decision to drop wrestling is based on the fact the Olympic Committee wants to add another sport to the mix like wake boarding or roller sports.
Coach Carter may not know a lot about those endeavors, but he says he knows what wrestling can do for these kids.
“Builds tremendous character and its just something I would be afraid and upset if they did away with it,” says Carter.
By mid afternoon the mats have been put away at Carson Middle School.
The IOC should make its decision on wrestling in September.
Its hoped that decision won't mean the mats at Carson Middle School are put away for good.