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Jim Scherr calls restoring Olympic wrestling a 'major challenge'

March 01, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • Jim Scherr thinks wrestling faces an uphill battle to return to the Olympics, but added, "we're up to the task."
Jim Scherr thinks wrestling faces an uphill battle to return to the Olympics,… (David J. Phillip / Associated…)

Former U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Jim Scherr says it will be a "major challenge" for wrestling to reverse the International Olympic Committee's decision to eliminate the sport from the Olympics in 2020.

"I think it's a major challenge to the sport," Scherr said. "By no means is there an easy win here. Wrestling can remain on the program. But wrestling has to work hard to do so. We're optimistic that the leadership that's been collected on the worldwide level and here in the United States, that we're up to the task."

Scherr said the sport's leaders will consider ways to tweak the rules and scoring system for fans unfamiliar with the sport, and will try to sway the IOC with better media and sponsorship models.

Days after the decision to drop wrestling was announced, Raphael Martinetti resigned as president of FILA, the international organization that governs wrestling, and was replaced by Nenad Lalovic.

"Everybody connected with the international movement would agree that in hindsight FILA and the worldwide wrestling community could have done much more, and certainly the leadership change is a reflection of that," Scherr said.

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