Political Heavyweight Makes Pitch For Olympic Wrestling
Illinois lawmakers are weighing in on Olympic organizers' decision to drop wrestling from the summer games.
The Illinois House passed a resolution encouraging the International Olympic Committee to reinstate wrestling as an Olympic sport. The state Senate is poised to do the same.
Former U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert made a special appearance in Springfield for it. Hastert was a wrestling coach in Yorkville before he went on to Congress. He says it's important to give young people the opportunity to reach for an Olympic dream.
"And for a, I think a wrongheaded decision made by the International Olympic Committee, which is all internal politics of people who didn't have constituencies -- they happen to be princes, and sisters of kings and sheiks and those types of people -- but we need to send them a message," Hastert said.
The House sponsor of the resolution says there are 17,000 student wrestlers in Illinois, and it's a sport at 18 Illinois universities.
Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.