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By Eva Loayza | February 14th, 2013 - 3:18pm
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(TRENTON) - Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D-Middlesex) today announced plans to introduce a resolution urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reinstate wrestling, after news that one of the oldest Olympic sports will be dropped from the Summer Olympics.

The decision to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic games has been widely criticized. According to a media report, the decision was made by secret ballot by the Olympic committee's 15-member executive board at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The exact vote and the reasons for the decision were not given in detail. Both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling will be featured at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but they will be excluded from the 2020 Summer Games.

"Wrestling is one of the oldest competitive sports in the world. It made its first appearance at the ancient Olympic Games in 708 B.C. and was there in Athens in 1896 when the modern Olympics were born. The sports, the athletes and the fans deserve better than a decision handed down without any real explanation," said Diegnan. "This is a blow for every young wrestler who watched past medal winners like Sicklerville native Jordan Burroughs bring home the gold, and aspired to do the same."

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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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