U S to host Pan American Championships and the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in 2012

By Gary Abbott | Sept. 06, 2010, 4:22 a.m. (ET)
MOSCOW, Russia - FILA, the international wrestling federation, has awarded two major continental competitions for 2012 to the United States.

Major events to be hosted in the United States will be the 2012 Pan American Wrestling Championships and the 2012 Pan American Olympic Qualifier.

The Pan American Wrestling Championships is the annual continental championship for North, South and Central America in the three Olympic styles - men's freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's freestyle. The event will be hosted in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The 2012 Pan American Olympic Qualifier is part of the 2012 Olympic qualification process. The top two placewinners in each weight class in this tournament will qualify their country for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. It will feature the three Olympic styles. Only athletes from Pan American nations who have not yet qualified their nation for the Olympics at their weight class will be able to enter. This event will be hosted in Orlando, Fla.

The last time the U.S. hosted the Pan American Championships was in 2008 in Colorado Springs, Colo. That event also served as the Pan American Qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2012, these will be two separate events.

The Pan American Wrestling Championships were also held in Colorado Springs in 1989 and 1990.

The 2012 Pan American Olympic Qualifier is an incredibly important competition in determining the field for the 2012 Olympic Games. It is an honor that our international federation has entrusted us with such an important competition" said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.

"We also look forward to bringing the Pan American Championships back to Colorado Springs, where it has been successfully held in the past" said Bender.