Oklahoma State wrestling coach John Smith vowed to fight to keep wrestling in the Olympics on Tuesday, Feb. 12, the same day the International Olympic Committee announced it would drop wrestling from the games.
The news came as a shock as wrestling was one of the first Olympic events, dating back to 700 b.c., and has been considered a fundamental part of the games.
Smith is a two-time gold medal winner himself, (1988 and 1992) and has coached Oklahoma State to five national championships. Smith has won six world titles himself, as well as several national titles as a wrestler. His Oklahoma State team is currently ranked No. 2 in the NCAA and is unbeaten so far this season.
Even though the recommendation has been made, the final decision will not be made until September of this year. Smith said the wrestling world will fight the decision. Smith said he was on the phone all day with wrestling people around the world. He was very upset at first, but has since learned that there is still time to fight the decision.
"The fight is just starting. It was a recommendation from the IOC that wrestling would not be allowed in the 2020 Olympics. There will be additional meetings from this point forward, one in May and the final decision September of 2013. I can tell you the wrestling world will come together. It will unite. The fight has just begun."
Smith decried the fact that the United States had no representation on the committee that made the decision that was announced Tuesday. He said that while the United States has done very well, there are many other countries that will also fight to keep the sport.
Smith held a news conference Tuesday and here are his answers to questions about wrestling in the Olympics.