USA Wrestling Selects NYC2012 to Host 2001 World Freestyle Wrestling Championships

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Gary Abbott (USA Wrestling)

USA WRESTLING SELECTS NYC2012 TO SERVE AS HOST ORGANIZER FOR 2001 WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS    USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling, has selected NYC2012 to serve as the host organizer for the 2001 World Wrestling Championships.     The United States has been named to host the 2001 World Championships by FILA, the international wrestling federation. USA Wrestling' s selection of the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan area is pending final approval by FILA.     New York-New Jersey Metropolitan leaders are excited about the opportunity to host the competition.     "We are proud that the New York/New Jersey region has been selected to host the World Championships for Wrestling in September 2001," said New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. "Wrestling has a long, glorious history in New York, dating back to the nation's first amateur competition in 1888. The 2001 World Championships will be an integral part of NYC2012's campaign to bring the 2012 Olympic Games to New York City. Holding the 2001 World Championships finals in Madison Square Garden, in the media capital of the world, will ensure that it will not only be an exciting competive event, but a world-wide celebration of one of the greatest and oldest Olympic sports."     "On behalf of Governor Christie Whitman and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority we are proud to partner with NYC2012 in bringing the 2001 World Championships for Wrestling to the NJ/NYC region," said Raymond H. Bateman, Chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. "Continental Airlines Arena promises to be a great venue for the preliminary matches in September 2001."     "NYC2012 is excited to have been awarded the right to host the World Championships for Wrestling in September 2001 in the New York/New Jersey region," said Daniel L. Doctoroff, President of NYC2012. "We look forward to partnering with USA Wrestling and FILA, its international federation, and with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and Madison Square Garden in making this a premier event in one of the most important and thrilling Olympic sports. This will also be one of the showcase activities of our bid to bring the 2012 Olympic Games here."     The wrestling community is also excited about hosting the event in the region.     "USA Wrestling is excited to partner with NYC2012 to host the 2001 World Wrestling Championships in the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan area," said Jim Scherr, Executive Director of USA Wrestling. "New York is considered the world's biggest stage, and we are pleased to bring the best wrestlers in the world to compete there. The local organizers and community have put together a strong bid package, which should allow us to host the most successful World Championships ever."     "As a native of the New York-New Jersey region, I am very excited that USA Wrestling has the opportunity to host the most important wrestling event in the world in New York and New Jersey," said Bruce Baumgartner, president of USA Wrestling. "I am confident that the citizens of the Metropolitan area will support this event, and that the international sports community will have an outstanding experience while attending the event."     Baumgartner, a four-time Olympic medalist and one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time, is a native of Haledon, N.J.     Assisting in the organization of the competition is the Metropolitan Wrestling Association, a major regional wrestling group that has conducted successful international wrestling events in the past, led by its president Setrak Agonian of New York City.     The New York-New Jersey Metropolitan area was selected to host the championships through a bid process, which included interest from a number of major cities and organizing committees.     The proposed dates for the competition are September 26-30, 2001. The proposal includes hosting competition at two major area venues, the Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in New Jersey, and Madison Square Garden in New York City.     For the first time since 1989, World Championships in all three styles of international wrestling will be held side-by-side in one exciting week of action - men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman and women's freestyle wrestling.     Wrestling is one of the most popular sports in the world, and over 70 nations are expected to send teams to compete in the 2001 World Championships. Men's freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling are contested in the Olympic Games, and women's wrestling is expectedto be added to the Olympic program for the 2004 Olympic Games.     The United States has hosted four previous Senior World Wrestling Championships. The U.S. most recently hosted the World Freestyle Wrestling Championships in 1995 at the Omni Arena in Atlanta, Ga. The 1979 World Championships in freestyle and Greco-Roman were held in San Diego, Calif. Previous World Wrestling Championships were held in Toledo, Ohio in 1962 and 1966.