Olympic Fight Top 10 Countdown: No. 2 FILA Extraordinary Congress

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Richard Immel (USA Wrestling)

In honor of wrestling being reinstated as an Olympic sport for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic games USA Wrestling will be counting down the top 10 moments in wrestling’s Olympic fight. 

Taking the No. 2 spot in the Olympic Fight Top 10 Countdown is the FILA Extraordinary Congress held in Moscow, Russia on May 18.
The congress was significant for a multitude of reasons but none more important than the election of Nenad Lalovic of Serbia as President of FILA. Lalovic was named Acting President in February after the resignation of Raphael Martinetti, who resigned during the FILA Bureau meeting in Phuket, Thailand just days after the International Olympic Committee Executive Board voted to remove wrestling as a core Olympic sport. The election by the Congress confirmed Lalovic as the president for the rest of Martinetti's term, and gave him a vote of confidence as the sport's leader for the Olympic crisis
During his acceptance speech, Lalovic gave a gift of a mirror to those in attendance in Moscow alluding to the individual efforts it will take to restore wrestling.
In addition to electing Lalovic,  two other major initiatives were approved at the FILA Extraordinary Congress, the new rules of wrestling and changes in the governance of the organization.
The new set of rules replaced the best two out of three period system with a more exciting brand of wrestling. Matches would now consist of two three-minute periods and cumulative scoring. A takedown also changed scoring value from one point to two points. These changes were immediately effective and well received by the wrestling community and the IOC.
The changes in the FILA Constitution provided more representations for both women and athletes within the leadership of the sport, two key requests by the IOC for wrestling to be more in line with IOC policies and philosophy.
The Extraordinary Congress showed that FILA had listened to the concerns of the international sports community, and did not just talk about change but had the courage to make change. This occurred just days before the IOC Executive Board vote in St. Petersburg, Russia where wrestling made the short list of sports for Olympic consideration.
These changes played a major factor in the IOC decision to retain wrestling as a provisional sport for the 2020 and 2024 games as a “new wrestling” was born in Moscow.

Olympic Fight Top 10 Countdown
10. Battle at the Falls
9. United 4 Wrestling
8. Social Media Charge
7. Six Women’s Weights for 2016 Olympics
6. Olympia Tournament
5. Rumble on the Rails
4. Freestyle World Cup
3. IOC votes wrestling on to short list in St. Petersburg 
2. FILA Extraordinary Congress