SPORTS: Port Angeles coach ‘astonished’ by wrestling being cut from Olympics
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Peninsula Daily News
The decision by the International Olympic Committee executive board to drop wrestling from the Olympics blindsided those heavily involved in the sport.
“It’s just astonishing, honestly,” Port Angeles wrestling coach Erik Gonzales told the Peninsula Daily News this week.
“I think it caught all of us in the wrestling community off-guard. In fact, I know it did.”
Besides coaching the Roughriders and heading up the Olympic Mountain Wrestling Club, Gonzalez stays connected with many of the country’s wrestling organizations.
Prior to this week’s announcement that wrestling would be gone by the 2020 Summer Olympics, Gonzalez said there weren’t any previous discussions about the potential for wrestling’s elimination.
Now begins the fight to save the sport’s place in the Olympics.
“I am confident that now that the wrestling community is aware, we can flex our collective muscles,” Gonzalez said.
“I like our chances of getting it reinstated.”
Gonzalez doesn’t believe the Olympic committee’s decision will negatively impact the popularity of the sport on the North Olympic Peninsula.
“Certainly not in the short-term,” he said.
“We just have to try to control what we can control,” which he added means making all of the programs in the area as successful as possible.
Gonzalez noted that the Olympic committee’s decision isn’t the first setback for wrestling, which has seen college wrestling programs dropped throughout the nation, including at his alma mater, Valparaiso.
Last modified: February 13. 2013 6:07PM