© 2024 NPR Illinois
The Capital's Community & News Service
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
2024 Spring Drive Update: If you have not given yet this year, your support is needed. Any amount makes a difference. Please CLICK HERE to donate now.

Lawmakers Weigh In On Olympic Wrestling

Illinois lawmakers are "weighing in" on Olympic organizers' decision to drop wrestling from the summer games. 
The Illinois House passed a resolution encouraging the International Olympic Committee to reinstate wrestling as an Olympic sport.   The state Senate is poised to do the same.

Former U-S House Speaker Denny Hastert made a special appearance in Springfield for it.  Hastert was a wrestling coach in Yorkville before he went on to Congress.  He says it's important to give young people the opportunity to reach for an Olympic dream. 

HASTERT: "And for a, I think a wrongheaded decision made by the International Olympic Committee, which is all internal politics of people who didn't have constituencies -- they happen to be princes, and sisters of kings and sheiks and those types of people -- but we need to send them a message."

He says the sport showed him he could do much more than he could have ever dreamed. 

HASTERT: "You know wrestling is one place where countries like Iran and Russia, and United States and Turkey and Mongolia, and Korea, and all the Stans and the former Soviet union - parts of the former Soviet Union that are now individual countries - they all have earned medals in this sport."

Pat Quinn is among 32 governors who have signed a letter protesting the Olympic committee's decision.

The House sponsor of the resolution says there are 17-thousand student wrestlers in Illinois, and it's a sport at 18 Illinois universities.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
Related Stories