Cross, Hatcher pass resolution to reinstate wrestling in the Olympics

May 2, 2013 State Representative Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) and House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) today advanced House Resolution 169 in the Illinois House, urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to revisit their recent decision to drop wrestling from the Olympic Games. [caption id="attachment_3476" align="alignleft" width="200"]Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), former U.S. Speaker of the House Denny Hastert and Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), former U.S. Speaker of the House Denny Hastert and Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville)[/caption] Former U.S. Speaker of the House Denny Hastert was also in Springfield today advocating for the resolution. “Wrestling plays an important role in Illinois communities and provides our youth the opportunity to learn valuable life skills through discipline, strength, and hard work,” said Cross. “I remain hopeful that the International Olympic Committee will reverse its decision to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics.” “Wrestling is an Olympic tradition dating back to the very first Olympic Games. Today, hundreds of thousands of student athletes here and across the country wrestle, many with dreams of participating in the Olympics. The Olympic Committee needs to continue to inspire young athletes’ dreams, not stifle them,” Representative Hatcher said. The IOC executive board’s has voted to phase out wrestling after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In 2012, more than 280,000 high school students in the United States participated in the sport. It is considered to be one of the most diverse sports, with athletes from almost 200 countries around the world.  Illinois has the second most high school wrestlers in any state in the nation, with 17,112 high school boys and girls wrestling in the 2011-2012 year. Illinois is also active in college wrestling through 18 college programs.

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