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In an effort to keep the historic sport in future Olympic games, actor Billy Baldwin has teamed up with the Committee to Preserve Olympic Wrestling to launch an eBay auction to benefit the Keep Olympic Wrestling movement.
This partnership comes on the heels of the controversial decision made in February by the executive board of the Olympic Committee to recommend that wrestling not be a core sport in the Olympic Games starting in 2020.
In June, wrestling was named one of three finalists for the final provisional spot in the 2020 and 2024 games, alongside baseball and squash. The final decision will be made by the IOC General Assembly in September.
A former high school and college wrestler, Baldwin fervently has championed the sport of wrestling since the decision, working hand in hand with CPOW to ensure its place in the Olympiad and educate the public on the sport’s benefits.
“The values of work ethic, discipline and mental toughness that are instilled through training and competition transcend the sport of wrestling,” said Baldwin in a statement. “Later in life, when you are fighting your way through adversity, dealing with the challenges of being a husband and father, or in the pursuit of your career, they will come back to serve you well.”
The first of three auctions will go live July 12. Many of the items up for auction cater to Hollywood consumers, including a walk-on role on Boardwalk Empire, a ticket to the premiere of Mark Spitz bio pic Foxcatcher starring Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum, a meet and greet with Jay Leno at The Tonight Show studio and lucrative Rio 2016 Summer Games packages including event tickets and VIP access.
Wrestling in the Olympics is a tradition that dates back to ancient times. The sport has been at every modern day Summer Olympics since the 1896 Games in Athens. One of the most famous moments in U.S. Olympic history occurred when American Greco-Roman wrestler Rulon Gardner won the gold medal in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney by upsetting Russian wrestler Aleksandr Karelin, who had previously been undefeated for 13 years.
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