US and Iran find something in common

New Europe: The wrestling authorities and athletes from the United States and Iran may have accomplished what for so many years the diplomats and warmongers have not. The International Olympic Committee announced in February that wrestling will be excluded from its list of core sports. In a rare alliance the US and Iran have joined forces to keep wrestling into Olympic Games’ program. At the start of the Wrestling World Cup, hosted in Tehran from February 21-22, American and Iranian athletes held hands and smiled to the crowd, while standing behind a long banner that read: “Olympics without wrestling! never never” in both English and Farsi. “We need the backing of Iran and Russia… to preserve wrestling, and this goes beyond politics… Iran is one of the powers in wrestling and can defend the game’s credibility,” said Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling, according to the ISNA state news agency.


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