Blue Valley wrestlers sweat out Olympic decision

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- It's an exciting and busy time for high school wrestling teams on both sides of the state line. The journey to a state title continues as regionals take place this weekend. But there's somewhat of a dark cloud hanging over the sport.
It has nothing to do with the high schools or the student athletes, it's the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC executive board put the sport of wrestling in a proverbial headlock and all but booted it from the Olympic games starting in 2020. The news rocked the wrestling community around the world. Among those saddened by the news, the Blue Valley Northwest wrestling team and coach Tim Serbousek.

"Kind of like, wow, the oldest sport known to man -- one of the first sports they did in the Olympics, kind of disheartening," said Coach Serbousek.

The news broke as the BVNW wrestling team is preparing for regionals competition this weekend. The state wrestling championships are next weekend. One of those competing is freshman wrestler Sam Elliot. He's been wrestling for years and his coach says he has a promising future. For Sam, a chance at the Olympics would be exciting.

"If I could get to that point that'd be great," he said. "It would be a great honor to make it there if I could, I'd go for it."

But with the likely chance wrestling is out, Sam called out the IOC.

"I think it's an awful idea to discontinue it and takes away chances from kids who want to be in the Olympics to wrestle if that's what they aspire to do," he said.

Sam's coach feels the same way and hopes an organized effort to save Olympic wrestling gets going. He says he and his team will get behind it in a couple weeks. First they have a state championship to try to win. Blue Valley Northwest is one of the host sites for the Kansas high school wrestling regionals.


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