Illinois lawmakers are “weighing in” on Olympic organizers’ decision to drop wrestling from the summer games.
The Illinois House passed a resolution encouraging the International Olympic Committee to reinstate wrestling as an Olympic sport. The state Senate is poised to do the same.
Former U-S House Speaker Denny Hastert made a special appearance in Springfield for it. Hastert was a wrestling coach in Yorkville before he went on to Congress. He says it’s important to give young people the opportunity to reach for an Olympic dream.
HASTERT: “And for a, I think a wrongheaded decision made by the International Olympic Committee, which is all internal politics of people who didn’t have constituencies — they happen to be princes, and sisters of kings and sheiks and those types of people — but we need to send them a message.”
He says the sport showed him he could do much more than he could have ever dreamed.
HASTERT: “You know wrestling is one place where countries like Iran and Russia, and United States and Turkey and Mongolia, and Korea, and all the Stans and the former Soviet union – parts of the former Soviet Union that are now individual countries – they all have earned medals in this sport.”
Pat Quinn is among 32 governors who have signed a letter protesting the Olympic committee’s decision.
The House sponsor of the resolution says there are 17-thousand student wrestlers in Illinois, and it’s a sport at 18 Illinois universities.