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Wrestling Fans Celebrate Reinstatement of Sport in Olympics
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) With wrestling remaining in the Olympics in 2020, a part of Iowa stays on the international stage as well.
"Everybody in this town knows somebody that wrestled or has a friend that wrestled, said Deadwood Tavern owner Jim Bell. We watch it on TV."
"It's amazing the number of people that don't get into other sports that really get into wrestling," said Bo-James owner Leah Cohen.
"I would say it's as big as basketball and football," said The In-Zone receptionist Armando Santilli.
Many people say the initial discussion to remove wrestling from the Olympics was surprising and a little worrisome.
"It didn't seem like it was appropriate," said Bell.
"Oh, at the time I heard it I knew there would be a lot of uproar about it, said Cohen.
That was expecially true for those who has such great memories of the sport thanks to local heroes.
"People love to watch it, said Cohen. You know we have Dan Gable as a legend here in Iowa City so it makes a big difference."
"I even spoke to Dan Gable, right here on the sidewalk a couple of years ago, remembered Bell. He was walking by. A very engaging, pleasant man."
With wrestlings fate secured until at least 2024, theres a chance for new local legends to emerge on the Olympic level.
"Whenever you have local athletes, they're always supported with the Iowa community around here, said Santilli. And we always cheer for them."