Olympic Hopeful Shocked By IOC's Decision To Drop Wrestling - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVa Olympic Hopeful Shocked By IOC's Decision To Drop Wrestling From 2020 Games

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Nate Carr Jr. coaches a sport he loves dearly from the sidelines at the University of Virginia, but his true passion is on the mat.

The 157-pounder is the son of 1988 bronze medalist, Nate Carr, and he is training for the 2016 Olympic Games.

When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced its recommendation to drop wrestling from the 2020 Summer Games on Tuesday, February 12, Carr Jr's world was rocked.

Carr Jr. said, "I was just in shock. At a loss for words. Its unreal...I would be at a loss for words if I was 12 years-old and was told I don't have a shot."

This suggestion isn't just perplexing top Olympic contenders like Carr - it's stunned the entire wrestling world.

The No. 11 University of Virginia Wrestling Team's head coach, Steve Garland said, "this is a sport that's global and I think there's gonna be a lot of heat and a lot of display of fire and passion for the sport. I just don't know how you erase history...I hope the effect is wrestling does get put on the docket for 2020 and that this problem goes away and that way there isn't a major impact. I've got guys on my own team - Nick Sulzer - one of the guys right behind me who has Olympic aspirations. We've got guys we're bringing in and guys that are currently on our team who have Olympic aspirations."

Wrestling was part of the First Modern Olympics - and now its fighting for its survival against seven sports: baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu.

The IOC released a statement saying they review every sport after each edition of the Olympic Games to ensure they remain relevant to sports fans of all generations.

Garland said, "in the United States, which is a pretty big hitter on the block the last time I checked, wrestling is growing and developing so not being relevant doesn't make sense to me. Our national championship was completely sold out last year! Then you go on the international level - India. There's a lot of people in India last time I checked and the population was pretty thick there. They love wrestling. Just think about all the eastern countries that sponsor wrestling...Its huge! So not being relevant - I don't know is wushu relevant?"

Carr Jr. added, "Its unreal to think that ping pong is considered to be more historic and more relevant in today's society than hard work and dedication"

If wrestling is cut - it will be a huge blow to the USA. America is one of the most successful countries in Olympic wrestling having won 124 medals.

At a meeting in May, the IOC Executive Board will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia to listen to representatives from eight sports who will make presentations for inclusion in the 2020 Games. The final vote will be made at the IOC session or general assembly in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As an Olympic hopeful and UVA coach, Carr Jr. is optimistic the IOC will see the core values wrestling is teaching on and off the mat.

Carr Jr. said, "It teaches you how to work hard, mental toughness. Its all-around. It makes me the man I am today. Because once you wrestle everything else is easy in life. Its unreal and I'm hoping we can pull together as a country as a world community and get it together and be able to have it in 2020."

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