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Former BU wrestler Baldwin helps reinstate sport in Olympics
Wrestling wins vote, regains spot for 2020 and 2024 Summer Games
September 6, 2013Tweet
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VESTAL, N.Y. - Former Binghamton wrestler and current Hollywood actor/director Billy Baldwin ‘85 played a key role in the successful campaign to reinstate the sport of wrestling in the Olympic Games.
Nearly seven months after the IOC delivered a once-perceived death sentence, wrestling reclaimed its place on the Olympic stage, beating squash and a combined bid by baseball and softball for the lone remaining spot on the program for the 2020 and 2024 Summer Games. The vote was held September 8 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Wrestling drew 49 votes; baseball-softball, 24; and squash, 22, after representatives of each made one final, 20-minute sales pitch about how their sport could strengthen the 21st century Olympic brand. IOC President Jacques Rogge made the announcement, which set off a celebration among the sport’s leadership group and its supporters around the world.
“I assure each of you that our modernization will not stop now,” FILA President Nened Lalovic said in thanking IOC voters. “We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic movement that we can be.”
Takedown Radio’s Scott Casper spoke with Baldwin before he departed for Buenos Aires.
“It was a wake-up call that we needed,” Baldwin said of the initial IOC decision to drop wrestling. “It’s mobilized and energized us in a way I never could have imagined. I think we’ve answered the call in very impressive fashion and we will see this thing all the way through until wrestling is back as a core sport in the Olympics.”
Baldwin has been a mainstay on the sidelines at BU matches and behind the microphone at the NCAA Championship, supporting the Bearcats and the sport of wrestling. He speaks fondly of his time at Binghamton in the interview (link above).