Locals react to wrestling back in Olympics - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Locals react to wrestling back in Olympics

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

After a seven month hiatus wrestling has reclaimed its spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The sport beat a bid from squash and a joint baseball/softball bid.

"One of the happiest days of my life," said newly retired Cleveland head wrestling coach Al Miller.

Miller rejoiced on Sunday as the IOC voted wrestling back into the 2020 Olympics.

Wrestling was ousted seven months ago. On Sunday they beat out baseball, softball and squash.

UTC head coach Heath Eslinger said the public outcry over the past seven months was overwhelming, "all the social media, it's been pound save Olympic wrestling. It trended on Twitter last week. It wasn't just a regional or national but really a world wide movement."

Miller added, "what could Russia, Iran and the United States ever come together and agree on? other than wrestling which they did."

To get back in wrestling had to make changes. The same changes they were asked to make years ago but never did.

Yes, wrestling is the oldest form of Olympic sport and it dates back more than 5,000 years but the IOC complained the rules were confusing for fans and there wasn't enough scoring among other things.

Eslinger said, "it's just like in football. People don't want to watch a 2-0 win, they want to watch a 52-50 shootout because that's fun and there's action."

They've made slight changes but aren't done. The new scoring provided twice as many points scored in this years national championship compared to 2012.

They eliminated two weight classes.

A small price to pay for what wrestlers call the ultimate dream said Miller, "there are sports in the Olympics where it's just not the pinnacle of their sport. For wrestling it's the Olympics."

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