Coaches say returning wrestling to Olympics will boost sport

Coaches say returning wrestling to Olympics will boost local sport

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The coaches say they were disappointed when they heard in February wrestling was going to be axed at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The coaches say they were disappointed when they heard in February wrestling was going to be axed at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"Even if I can't wrestle in the Olympics, I'm going to continue to move forward. I'm going to train a younger kid so he can look forward to that," said Marcus Burgin. "Even if I can't wrestle in the Olympics, I'm going to continue to move forward. I'm going to train a younger kid so he can look forward to that," said Marcus Burgin.
"To think that we're not a core sport or something of founding to the Olympics just kind of deflated my need to watch it," added Phillip Maxwell. "To think that we're not a core sport or something of founding to the Olympics just kind of deflated my need to watch it," added Phillip Maxwell.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The International Olympic Committee voted Sunday to return wrestling to the Olympics.

The sport was returned to Olympic competition for the 2020 and 2024 Games after being voted out seven months ago.

Local wrestling coaches are cheering the news. They say this decision adds drive to their training.

The coaches say they were disappointed when they heard in February wrestling was going to be axed at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. There were concerns their sport was going to become extinct.

Phillip Maxwell has a gym in his backyard where you could say champions are made.

Maxwell coaches athletes of all ages the sport of wrestling. His team's morale took a hit about seven months ago after learning wrestling was cut from the 2020 Olympic games.

"To think that we're not a core sport or something of founding to the Olympics just kind of deflated my need to watch it," Maxwell said.

Sunday's decision by the IOC to add wrestling back onto its roster was uplifting for Maxwell and it's something he can't wait to share at Monday's practice.

"We get to let them know that they have something that they're training for. They get to train a little bit harder," he said.

It's even better news for Maxwell's oldest son Nick, who is stationed with the army in South Korea. He's training for the 2016 Olympics.

Maxwell says it gives his son one more shot at winning but adds four more years of training.

"It's more of a prediction of weight, more of a prediction of muscle mass, and what he's got to match," added Maxwell.

Marcus Burgin is the head coach for UT's Wrestling Club. He says this win for the wrestling world will push his athletes forward.

"Even if I can't wrestle in the Olympics, I'm going to continue to move forward. I'm going to train a younger kid so he can look forward to that," said Burgin.

These coaches also say over the last few months they've been working with other teams on techniques and recruiting to keep this sport relevant.

Some sports not added back onto the roster include squash and baseball/softball.

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