CPOW Weekly Update for August 8, 2013

By CPOW | Aug. 09, 2013, 8:09 p.m. (ET)
SUMMARY: One month until IOC vote in Buenos Aires... #TakeAStance social media campaign launched worldwide... FILA creates Thunderclap social media promotion... Wrestler and musician Martin Strayer wears "Save Olympic Wrestling" shirt on NBC Tonight Show... Rumble On The Rails nominated as Best Amateur Sports event... Inside Trip - USA Wrestling Keeping the Dream Alive video is available with proceeds going to Keep Olympic Wrestling... Wrestling takes early lead in Inside the Games Olympic poll... CPOW to support Rally4Wrestling event in Atlanta... Athletes from a third of the world featured in FILA rankings... Google+ On Air Hangouts continue with Kyle Dake, Rich Bender and Rulon Gardner...

The Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW) is bringing back its weekly update, informing the wrestling community and the general public on its activities.

CPOW is a group of wrestling leaders assembled by USA Wrestling. Its charge is to oversee the effort within the United States to Keep Wrestling In the Olympics, as part of a coordinated international strategy designed to retain wrestling in the Olympics.

On May 29, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board voted wrestling as one of three sports for the shortlist of candidates for the final provisional sports spot in the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympic Games during its meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia. The final decision will be made on September 8 at the IOC General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

International Relations News and Effort

- It is exactly one month prior to the important International Olympic Committee vote for the one remaining provisional sport spot for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, and the international wrestling community is very busy telling the positive story about wrestling. The IOC General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina will choose between wrestling, squash and baseball/softball for inclusion in the Olympic Games. FILA, the international wrestling federation, is already beginning its preparations for the presentation that it will make to the IOC next month, building upon the momentum which has been created through the worldwide Keep Olympic Wrestling effort.

- FILA and CPOW have launched the worldwide #TakeAStance campaign through social media. The wrestling leadership is encouraging wrestlers, fans and supporters all over the world to post images via social media platforms of themselves, their friends or teammates, in the classic wrestling stance. Participants can then post their photos post the images to various social media platforms including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and more with the hashtag #TakeAStance. Fans young and old can post photos of themselves in their best wrestling stance anywhere from an iconic landmark, a high school gymnasium, in their homes, anywhere. The response in the first week has been remarkable. CPOW and USA Wrestling have created a photo gallery with more than 300 pictures, with shots from weddings, on top of mountains, in major cities, by children and grandparents and many other cool locations. FILA has been equally successful in getting hundreds of photos from around the world posted. The goal is to continue the drive right up until the September 8 vote. "The #TakeAStance initiative is a way for the wrestling community all over the world to show their support for Olympic wrestling" said CPOW Chairman Bill Scherr.

- USA Wrestling athletes, coaches and fans are very involved in #TakeAStance. At the Women's World Team Wrestle-off in Colorado Springs, Colo. over the weekend, the three champions (Victoria Anthony, Veronica Carlson, Alli Ragan) all took a stance for wrestling, as did the entire officiating crew at the event. Former wrestling greats, such as Greco-Roman World Champion Joe Warren, posed in their stance. Entire groups of children, including all the kids at a special wrestling clinic in Albuquerque, N.M., took at stance.

- FILA is offering the wrestling community another way to use social media to make a statement about Olympic wrestling, through a Thunderclap campaign. Thunderclap is a social media tool that allows users to donate one post and/or tweet to amplify their cause through one unified message shared by multiple users. On Wednesday, August 12th, at 12 noon EST, across hundreds of unique Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts, the message "Did you know YOU can help Save Olympic Wrestling? Help me spread the word today" will be shared in unison, creating a swell of support to keep wrestling in the Olympic Games.

- The Save Olympic Wrestling message is also getting out in many other media. Former wrestler Martin Stayer, a guitarist and co-writer for the popular band, the Court Yard Hounds, wore a "Save Olympic Wrestling" t-shirt on the band's live appearance on the NBC Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Strayer is married to the lead singer Emily Robison, who was previously with the Dixie Chicks. Martin Strayer was a Div. I wrestler for Wilkes College, and is the son of Penn State All-American Marty Strayer. The Court Yard Hounds just released their second album "Amelita" and performed the song "Sunshine" on the Tonight Show last week with Strayer in his wrestling shirt. "I didn't want to tell everybody I was going to wear the shirt on the show - I wanted it to be a surprise. My phone was blowing up and going nuts. I had messages and texts from all kinds of people who were excited about what I did" he said. Among those to contact him were Olympic champions Cael Sanderson and Jake Varner. He has been an active supporter of the Keep Olympic Wrestling effort and plans to wear the shirt at future appearances of the band, which is touring the nation.

- The "Rumble on the Rails" at Grand Central Terminal in New York City, an international wrestling event to benefit Beat the Streets and held on May 15 this year, has been nominated for "Best Amateur Sporting Event" for the 2013 SportsTravel Awards. The event was a huge success, and was a cornerstone for the successful World Wrestling Month in May, which was celebrated worldwide. Held in historic Vanderbilt Hall, it featured three of the world's wrestling superpowers, the United States, Russia and Iran. The event drew in a capacity crowd, and raised a record $1.5 million for Beat the Streets, which provides wrestling programs for New York City youth. Both of the dual meets were broadcast live on national television, with the USA vs. Iran match on NBC Sports Channel and the USA vs. Russia match on Universal Sports.

- USA Wrestling and CPOW have announced that the Inside Trip - USA Wrestling Keeping the Dream Alive video is available to pre-order now from X-Cel Worldwide. Proceeds from the film will benefit the campaign to keep wrestling in the Olympic Games. The film follows the U.S. Men's Freestyle National Team from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to the heart of New York City for the Rumble on the Rails Beat the Streets event at Grand Central Terminal. Fans can see all the action with the duals against Iran and Russia and get exclusive behind-the-scenes access during both training and competition. The Inside Trip - USA Wrestling Keeping the Dream Alive video is approximately one hour, fifteen minutes long and is available to pre-order from xcelonlinestore.com for $24.99.

- Inside the Games, a leading Olympic website, is asking a simple question in a new poll. Which sport do you think the IOC should vote to include on the Olympic programme for 2020? Wrestling is up against the two other sports for the final provisional sport spot in the 2020 and 2024 Olympics, squash and the combined baseball/softball bid. Earlier this year, Inside the Games did a similar poll with the eight candidate sports prior to the IOC Executive Board vote for the shortlist of sports for the Olympic program. At that time, wrestling won the poll with 42.2% of the vote, and a total of 102,388 votes. The wrestling community has set a goal of winning the poll again. On the first day of voting, wrestling jumped to a lead over the other two sports.

- CPOW will join other organizations, including USA Wrestling, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, the National Wrestling Coaches Association and others in promoting Rally4Wrestling Atlanta, which will take place in Alpharetta, Ga. at The Cooler from Friday, August 30 to Monday, September 2. The rally is a celebration of wrestling, a Keep Olympic Wrestling event, and a send-off for the U.S. Men's Freestyle World Team as it goes through final preparation for the 2013 Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The Titan Mercury Club, and its founder CPOW member Andy Barth have helped created the Rally4Wrestling event concept. "We're highlighting wrestling shortly in advance of the IOC's vote. We're hoping every time we do that it sends a clear message as to the support the wrestling community has for its sport" Barth recently told W.I.N. Magazine. The events will be held at The Cooler, a popular sports complex in Alpharetta owned by John Bardis, the Director of Development and Finance for CPOW. The weekend will feature World and Olympic champions Tom Brands and Dan Gable, Olympic champions Cael Sanderson and Brandon Slay, and World champion and National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones, among others.

- As part of the improvements in wrestling this year, new international wrestling rankings have been published by FILA every month. The sport has shown tremendous depth in the first three rankings with wrestlers from 54 national federations breaking into the FILA World Rankings. Almost a third of the countries in the world have a wrestler represented in the Top 15 in Greco-Roman, Men's Freestyle and Women's Freestyle Wrestling. Athletes from five continents were ranked by FILA. This shows once again the worldwide appeal of wrestling. "This shows the depth of our sport and the advances many countries and continents are making" said FILA President Nenad Lalovic." We are making so much progress in Africa and countries like India, Mongolia and many others. It is an international sport... for all people."

- CPOW, in conjunction with USA Wrestling and FILA, continued its series of weekly Google+ On Air Hangouts. The fourth week featured Kyle Dake, the four-time NCAA champion from Cornell who has quickly risen to a spot on the U.S. Freestyle National Team at 74 kg. This week's guests were USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner, along with FILA Junior World Team members Julia Salata and Hayden Tuma. Previous guests have included Jake Herbert, Jordan Burroughs, Billy Baldwin, Clarissa Chun, Jessica MacDonald and others. Wrestling is the only Olympic sport which is providing weekly Google+ Hangouts with top heroes in the sport from around the world. Next week will feature Olympic champion Daniel Igali, the president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation who won his Olympic title for Canada and is a presenter for FILA to the IOC.

We ask one thing from the wrestling community. Please stay informed and stay involved. You can do this by registering on www.KeepOlympicWrestling.com. We will give you weekly updates on the activities of CPOW and the international wrestling community so you can truly be a part of the solution.
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