High school wrestlers affected by IOC decision

Not have the Olympics to shoot for would disappoint up-and-coming wrestlers.
By Anthony Slater Published: February 12, 2013

Kenny Monday is an Olympic champion, and John Smith is an Olympic legend.

So when the news dropped Tuesday morning that the International Olympic Committee plans to cut wrestling from the 2020 Games, it certainly stung both.

But despite that potential move, the two men's legacy will remain intact, their historical imprint still significant, their influence on the sport still celebrated.

But the future Mondays or Smiths or Cael Sandersons, that's who might have been affected the most by Tuesday's announcement.

High school seniors across the state are 17 or 18 today, but when the 2020 Games roll around seven years from now, the latest batch of talented wrestlers (particularly from this tradition-rich state) will be 24 or 25.

They'll just be entering their athletic primes, with no stage to sculpt a legacy.

“You'll never be able to take that away from (the current wrestling legends), what they did,” Broken Arrow wrestling coach Shawn Jones said. “But the kids out there, the youngsters out there that are aspiring to be them, that's who it hurts. So it's just sad.”

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