May was designated “International Wrestling Month” by the International Wrestling governing body, FILA.
Top Female wrestlers from Canada, USA and Ukraine capped an amazing month in dramatic style when they joined forces on May 31 to Save Olympic Wrestling in a spectacular wrestling tri-meet at Niagara Falls, (further information below).
Earlier, on May 15, following an historic joint press-briefing by US, Iran and Russia at the United Nations HQ in New York, (the first ever joint briefing by these nations in the history of the United Nations,) “The Rumble on the Rails,” took place at the historic Grand Central Railway Terminal in New York City. This event was attended by then-interim FILA President Nenad Lalovic (link).
The wrestling event matched the showmanship of the Squash event that took place in January 2012 with a televisual transparent squash court in the same prominent location, with Squash now also competing for the Olympic slot.
Among the star Americans who competed in New York City wrestling event were Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott, Olympian and World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev, World silver medalist Helen Maroulis and four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake.
On 18 May the Bolton Wrestling Club and Sharples Wrestling Club held their Save Olympic Wrestling event. There was generous support from the Bolton Local Authority, following their decision to designate Wrestling as a priority sport. Competition Director Eddy Kavanagh said: “We have a lot of good potential wrestlers in Bolton and this event is a great chance to raise the profile of wrestling in the town.”
The event took place at the Smithills Sports Centre, with members of the British Wrestling Association travelling from all over Great Britain to compete.
Also on May 18, FILA gathered in Moscow, Russia for an extraordinary meeting where new rules were supported and FILA President Nenad Lalovic elected. The meeting was attended for GBR by Malcolm Morley, British Wrestling Chair. (link)
On 19 May, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena was the venue for the United 4 Wrestling event before a boisterous crowd of 3,500 fans. The event, featured strong teams from the U.S., Russia and Canada.
Actors Billy Baldwin and Tom Arnold appeared at the event along with Mixed Martial Arts stars Randy Couture, Chael Sonnen, Urijah Faber and Daniel Cormier.
Olympic gold medalists at the event included Burroughs, Dan Gable, John Smith, Bruce Baumgartner, Henry Cejudo, Tom Brands and Brandon Slay. Past World champion and Super Bowl champion Stephen Neal also spoke to the crowd along with World Champions Clarissa Chun and Adeline Gray
On May 31 the Canadians won the “Battle of the Falls” tournament against the USA and Ukraine, held on their side of the famous Niagra Falls – but the real winner was the sport of wrestling, especially the freestyle discipline of Female Wrestling.
The demonstration meet dubbed “Battle At The Falls”, which was wrestled in a tri-meet format, took place at the iconic Niagara Falls.
Finally, on May 31, the IOC Executive Committee narrowed its list from eight to three sports – Wrestling, Squash and Baseball/Softball. These three sports have one final presentation to make before the decisive vote at the IOC Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 7-10 September 2013.