Wrestlers remain optimistic about future role in Olympics

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 9:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 9:35 PM

DALLAS — The vote to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics by the executive board of the International Olympic Committee has had a unifying effect in the sport.

"It's actually a very good thing for the international wrestling community; we're banding together," said Kendall Cross, who won a gold medal for the United States in 1996. "We're putting our arms around each other, and normally we're trying to beat each other."

Cross uses his experience to train future Olympic hopefuls at the Dallas Dynamite Wrestling Club. He said the fight to keep wrestling in the Summer Games is far from over.

"Our leaders of the best nations in the world are meeting in Tehran this weekend," Cross said. "They're going to formulate a plan to present to the IOC to make sure we stay in the Olympics."

Kennon Henderson, who graduated from Frisco Centennial High School, has been at the Olympic training center since last summer. As a student at Colorado State and an Olympic hopeful, the news has been eye-opening.

"You can let it shatter your dreams and you stop training and it’s just not worth it anymore... or, two, you hope that we are brought back into the Olympics," Henderson said. "I think when something like this happens, you need to learn to face it; you need to learn to deal with it; and I think the way that I have decided to deal with it is, nothing is going to change."

Stephen Dieb from Highland Park, who is one of the top wrestlers in the State of Texas in the 126 pound class, thinks the IOC made the wrong decision.

"There are some sports that if they're going to take out, it shouldn't have been wrestling. It needs to stay there," Dieb said.

"One: We're not going to get taken out of the Olympics; and two" This is a very good thing for us, because it’s going to bring in new and fresh ideas," Cross added.

After a meeting in May, the International Olympic Committee will take a final vote in September.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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