Key things to know about IOC General Assembly vote about wrestling on Sunday, Sept. 8

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Gary Abbott (USA Wrestling)

The day that the international wrestling community has been waiting for months is just a day away, the vote by the International Olympic Committee General Assembly about the fate of wrestling as a sport on the Olympic program. The meetings are being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday, September 8. would like to present some basic information to assist the U.S. wrestling community in following the news on Sunday.

I. The IOC Schedule for the Day

Buenos Aires is one hour ahead of the U.S. Eastern Time zone. There is a specific schedule for the activities of the day, published by the International Olympic Committee. 

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE SCHEDULE MAY CHANGE DURING THE DAY. Based upon previous IOC meetings, and some of the activities already this week, schedules have changed a number of times. 

Click here for the official schedule from the IOC, and a link to webcast

The Tentative IOC Schedule for Sunday, September 8
All times Buenos Aires.
Subtract 1 hour for U.S. Eastern time, 2 hours for U.S. Central Time, 3 hours for U.S. Mountain Time and 4 hours for U.S. Pacific time

9:00 a.m. BA time - President’s opening remarks
9:30 a.m. BA time - Report by the IOC Olympic Program Commission
10:15 a.m. BA time - Vote on the proposal for 25 Core Olympic Sports
Followed by Presentations of Candidate Sports
10:30 a.m. BA time -   Baseball-Softball presentation
11:00 a.m. BA time -  Squash presentation
11:30 a.m. BA time – Wrestling presentation
12:00 noon BA time - Vote on possible additional sport for IOC program
12:45 p.m. BA time - Followed by announcement from IOC President  Dr. Jacques Rogge          

II. Live webcast on

As part of its coverage of the IOC General Assembly, the IOC is streaming the event live on its website. 

To view this
1. Go to the IOC website (
2. On the right of the page, under the news heading, click the link which says “Programme of the live transmission of the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina
3. Under the graphic and headline, there is a link to the webcast, which is entitled “The live stream and on demand videos can be found here.
4. There will be a video box with live video at the top of this page.

III. Highlights of how wrestling got to this situation within the Olympic movement

a. On February 12, 2013, the IOC Executive Board recommended the 25 sports that would make up the “core sports” of the Olympic Games after 2016.  Wrestling was not among those sports.  

b. Wrestling started an intense effort to save its position on the Olympic program and joined with seven other sports to have a chance to become an additional “provisional sport” on the Olympic program for 2020 and 2024. The eight sports campaigning were: Baseball-Softball, Karate, Roller Sports, Sport Climbing, Squash, Wakeboarding, Wrestling and Wushu.

c. On May 29 in St. Petersburg, Russia, the IOC Executive Board met to vote for an unspecified number of sports to progress to the 125th Session of the IOC in Buenos Aires. Following presentations by all of the sports, it was decided that the sports advancing to Buenos Aires would be Wrestling, Baseball-Softball and Squash. All three sports were asked to present their case before the IOC Session on September 8.

IV. The different IOC votes on the Olympic program on Sunday

During the meetings on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee are expected to make two votes.

The first vote is about the recommendation of the IOC Executive Committee on the 25 core sports of the 2020 Olympic Games. This vote is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. BA time. This is based upon the February 12 recommendation that wrestling not be included as a core sport. The entire General Assembly votes on this, with slightly over 100 IOC members involved.

It is highly expected that this recommendation will pass, and that the vote will drop wrestling as a core sport on the program. Recommendations of the IOC Executive Committee are rarely rejected. Wrestling is aware of this, and has another opportunity to remain on the Olympic program. If the core sport recommendation passes, then the IOC moves on to another vote, selecting one sport for provisional status in 2020 and 2024. 

This is followed by presentations of the three candidate sports for provisional sport status. Baseball-softball goes first at 10:30 a.m. BA time, followed by squash at 11:00 a.m. BA time.

At 11:30 a.m. BA time, the Wrestling presentation from our international federation FILA will be made to the IOC General Assembly.

The second possible vote is scheduled for 12:00 noon BA time. Once again, The entire General Assembly votes on this, with slightly over 100 IOC members involved.

It is expected that at about 12:45 p.m. BA time, IOC president Jacques Rogge will make the announcement about which of the three sports has won the vote. 

V. The IOC presentation team

The IOC presentation team for wrestling is the same group of wrestling leaders who made the FILA presentation in St. Petersburg, Russia in May when wrestling was named to the short list of provisional sports. 

• Leading the team is FILA President Nenad Lalovic of Serbia. He was named Acting FILA President in Febraury, and confirmed as the President in May. He has been very effective telling wrestling’s story.

• Jim Scherr of the United States is on the team. Scherr is former CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, former USA Wrestling Executive Director and a 1988 Olympian. He is a major leader in international sports.

• Carol Huyhn of Canada, a 2008 Olympic champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in women’s freestyle, is on the team.

• Daniel Igali of Nigeria and Canada, is also on the team. Igali won the Olympic gold in men’s freestyle in 2000 for Canada. He is currently president of the Nigerian Wrestling Federation and a member of their parliament.

• Lise LeGrand of France, a 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in women’s wrestling and Vice-President of the French Wrestling Federation, is also on our team.

The wrestling presentation team is very strong, and works very well together. They have been practicing this week on their presentation together down in Buenos Aires. The wrestling presentation team is ready to go.

VI. USA Wrestling at the IOC General Assembly

The United States is well-represented at the IOC General Assembly as part of the international wrestling delegation in Buenos Aires.

As noted before, Jim Scherr of the United States is one of the five presenters for FILA.

USA Wrestling President Jim Ravannack and USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender are in Buenos Aires on behalf of USA Wrestling.

The Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW), the USA Wrestling ad-hoc committee assigned to the Keep Olympic Wrestling movement, will be led in Buenos Aires by its chairman, World champion and Olympic medalist Bill Scherr. A number of other CPOW members are also there with the delegation in support of the American effort.