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Wrestlers at Ancient Olympia with survival in mind

July 21, 2013

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — More than 100 wrestlers from 12 countries came back to the sport’s roots in Ancient Olympia as part of a campaign to keep wrestling in the Olympics.

The 2nd Olympia tournament finished Sunday at the birthplace of the ancient games and is being used by wrestling’s international federation FILA to push the sport’s case for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee in February voted to exclude wrestling after the 2016 Rio Games. Wrestling is now competing against baseball/softball and squash for one opening on the 2020 program, with the IOC to vote in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Ancient Olympia, 320 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Athens, is used for the Olympic flame lighting ceremony and is normally off limits to such competitions.

A ceremony and relay race held Sunday will be part of a video sent by FILA to the IOC to plead its case.

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