Oklahoma State coach John Smith 'sick' about IOC's decision

The former Olympic champion from Del City vowed that the sport will fight to regain its place in the Games.
by Ed Godfrey Published: February 12, 2013

“It made me sick.”

That was John Smith's reaction to Tuesday's announcement that the International Olympic Committee was dropping wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games.

“It just made me sick to think that opportunity for 14-, 15-, 16-year-old kids who have thoughts about being an Olympic champion is erased,” said Smith, the Oklahoma State wrestling coach and former Olympic champion from Del City.

Smith vowed that the wrestling world would unite in its battle to keep the sport in the Olympics. A final decision will not be made until September, he said.

“I was on the phone a lot (Tuesday) with not just people in the country but all over the world. We're all ready to stand together,” he said.

“It's not just us. It's not just Oklahoma State or John Smith that has a passion for wrestling. It's all over the world and there are a lot of numbers behind it. The fight is just starting.”

Smith called the IOC's recommendation unjustified and said he was disappointed that the United States was not represented on the board that made the decision. Wrestling shouldn't have even been considered for elimination, he said.

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by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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