Recently the President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine and Olympic champion Sergey Bubka had a meeting with the President of the Ukrainian Wrestling Association, Olympic champion Elbrus Tedeiev and Ukrainian wrestling team head coach Ruslan Savlokhov.
During the meeting the future development and promotion of wrestling, possible remaining of wrestling in the Olympic program-2020 were discussed.
Sergey Bubka expressed his concern about the possible exclusion of wrestling from the list of Olympic sports. "This decision was a surprise to me, because wrestling is one of the oldest sports with glorious traditions. It is very popular in many countries, inexpensive, available sport for kids in different places. I believe wrestling will remain in the Olympic program, because the final decision will be approved during the IOC Session in Buenos Aires," the NOC President said during the meeting.
"It would be sad to lose a sport that gave us so many legendary Olympic moments. Let's remember that the longest Olympic competition was not run in marathon distance like most of people assume, but wrestling match that occurred in 1912 during the Olympic Games in Sweden. The match that made this world record was between Martin Klein from Russia and Alfred Asikainen representing Finland. It was a 12-hour match and a nine-hour light heavyweight title bout that ended in a tie for silver. Such brilliant historical moment is a real treasure for the Olympic movement. Moreover, wrestling has great power to unite countries and nations where politics is not able to do it. It is good example when people join forces to fight for one aim – to keep wrestling in Olympic program," Mr. Bubka mentioned.
Meanwhile, Sergey Bubka noted the need to take certain steps to improve the situation. "The International Federation should pay more attention to promoting the sport, constant improvement and upgrading, because life does not stand still, constantly creating new challenges," the President of the NOC said.
"Ukraine can be proud of the achievements of the national wrestling school. Almost in every Olympics our wrestlers win Olympic medals. Now some wrestlers from around the world declare their readiness to return fairly won Olympic medals – it shouldn't be done. Olympic medal is the highest achievement in sport. This medal is a reward for years of hard and dedicated titanic work," Sergey Bubka said.
Elbrus Tedeiev thanked the NOC for understanding and support. "Of course, as Olympic champion and Head of the Federation I am very concerned about this IOC decision. However, we are happy to have support from the NOC and Sergey Bubka. He is always taking care of all sports and balanced Olympic program, knows in details classical Olympic disciplines including wrestling. Sure, making certain conclusions, working together with the International Federation we will do everything for wrestling to remain an Olympic sport."
"Wrestling constantly brings Olympic medals for Ukraine. We have talented athletes, qualified coaches and perspective sport youth. After meeting with the President of the National Olympic Committee, we have more confidence that wrestling will continue to pursue the glorious Olympic tradition. I want to express my deep gratitude to Sergey Bubka from all athletes, coaches and federation for his support for our favorite sport. Mr. Bubka knows the needs of athletes and spectators and he always acts in the best way possible. We believe and trust our Olympic leader," the head coach of Ukraine national wrestling team Ruslan Savlokhov said.