Wrestlers from around world to compete in ancient Olympia, July 20-21, to Save Olympic Wrestling

By Bob Condron FILA | July 11, 2013, 12:26 p.m. (ET)
Youth wrestlers, whose first Olympics could be the 2020 Olympic Games, will take part in an exhibition on the same ground the first Olympic wrestlers competed

Corsier-Sur-Vevey, Switzerland (11 July, 2013) On Saturday and Sunday, July 20 & 21, wrestlers from around the World will gather at the birthplace of the Olympic Movement -- Olympia, Greece -- to participate in a Senior International Tournament. This gathering of wrestlers is significant, as it represents the themes of FILA's Save Olympic Wrestling campaign: wrestling is universal, wrestling is for everyone and wrestling is one of the original sports.

Both male and female wrestlers from Albania, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Iran, Russia and the United States, will compete in this tournament, which will be run under the new rules passed by the FILA Bureau at the Extraordinary Congress in May.

The finals, for all weight classes and styles, will be staged at the International Olympic Academy and shared via livestream on the official FILA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fila.official

In addition to the matches, wrestlers will have the opportunity to walk the grounds of Ancient Olympia, including the Palaestra and the Stadium at Olympia. Both of these locations hold significant meaning to the sport of wrestling, as heroes of the sport, such as Milo of Croton, have stepped foot on the very same ground.

Select youth wrestlers will also be invited to join the tour of Ancient Olympia and participate in an exhibition at the Palaestra. These youth wrestlers were specifically chosen, as their first opportunity to participate in the Olympic Program would be the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling is currently on the shortlist of sports to be considered for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Program. This vote, by the full IOC membership, will take place on September 8th in Buenos Aires.

FILA President, Nenad Lalovic, who will be attending the tournament, noted, "We've been there before, almost 3,000 years ago in the first Olympic Games. We look forward to returning to our roots with this special event that shows the passion of the sport of wrestling. We want our wrestlers to reach back and feel what those special athletes on the fields of Olympia did those many years ago when our sport helped start the Olympic Games."

Greek Wrestling Federation President Constantine Thanos added, "It is a great honor to host such an event at the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The Greek Wrestling generation is excited and feels confident this event will echo to the world the historic importance of the sport of wrestling as an integral part of the Modern Olympic Games as it was for the ancient Games"

About FILA
FILA, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, is the global governing body of the sport of wrestling. It works to promote the sport and facilitate the activities of its 177 national federations from around the world. It is based in Corsier-Sur-Vevey, Switzerland.