International decision keeps dreams alive for high school - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

International decision keeps dreams alive for high school athletes


An international decision has kept a dream alive for some area high school athletes. The International Olympic Committee voted Sunday to reinstate wresting in the Olympics.

Wausau West senior Travis Hettinga has a dream.

"When the Olympics were going on in 2012, I was like, oh this would be really cool to be in the Olympics, someday," explained Hettinga.

Now, that dream can become a reality. The International Olympic Committee voted to add wrestling back for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic games. The program had been cut last February.

"It was just like no way, this can't be possible," said Wausau West head wrestling coach Troy Fabry.

Since then groups across the country have been campaigning to revamp the organization and save the sport's Olympic status, that includes one right here in Wausau.

"We were handing out addresses and email addresses to people just re-promoting that we have to make a lot of noise," explained Wausau West Athletic Director Dan Hein.

Wrestling advocates say that hard work paid off.

"It woke up a lot of people to the importance of it and it got a lot of notoriety to see how important wrestling is for people that didn't know anything about it," said Hein.

But the fight isn't over. Wrestling only has secured a spot for the next two Olympic games. Coaches say that's where they come in.

"We have to do our part as a wrestling community to keep promoting our sport and get young kids to keep having those dreams of one day being a world champion," said Fabry.

Dreams like Hettinga's, "I hope they'll be cheering for me," he said.

Wrestling is named as an "additional sport" for the 2020 and 2024 games. Wrestling advocates say now, their goal is to now win back a place in the list of 25 core sports. This decision means no new sports will be allowed in the 2020 games.

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