Former Olympic wrestler on IOC decision: 'We're back!'

SHOREVIEW, Minn. -- A decision by the International Olympic Committee to reinstate wrestling for the 2020 Olympic Gamescame as a sigh of relief for wrestling coach and former Olympic silver-medalist, Brandon Paulson.

"So exciting and very relieved," he said. "We're back."

Paulson oversees Pinnacle Wrestling in Shoreview and says the "dream can go on" for the next generation of wrestlers looking forward to the Olympics.

"Youth numbers would've dropped if wrestling wasn't in the Olympics," he said.

Wrestling, baseball and softball, and squash presented their final bids to the IOC Sunday to take part in the Tokyo games. Wrestling won outright in a majority vote.

"Countries came together and we did whatever we could," said Paulson. "My job was just to bring exposure to the sport and the issue in Minnesota."

Throughout the reinstatement process, wrestling's governing bodies had to look inward to find ways to make the sport more marketable.

"When the Olympics doesn't want you anymore you have to figure out what you can do differently," says Paulson. "We need to make it more attractive to people so people can understand what is going on."

Wrestling's fight isn't over. Supporters hope it returns as a core sport in the years to come.


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