Every wrestler, from grade school through the most accomplished people in the sport, had the same reaction last February when the International Olympic Committee voted the sport out of the Olympics for the 2020 Games. Shock. Disappointment. Resolve.
But since that point, wrestling as a global sport has gotten up off its mat and made a huge effort to redefine itself as it battles with baseball/softball and squash for the re-inclusion vote that will come next month in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Locally, “Beat The Streets,” the grassroots organization that funds inner-city wrestling and education programs for young people, has helped spearhead efforts to get wrestling included as a sport in New York City High Schools for the first time, and raised millions for the sport with its “Rumble on the Rails” event in Grand Central Terminal this past spring. The sport itself has held large scale events in Los Angeles and even ancient Greece and has answered all the IOC’s questions with regard to reinstatement.
Now the sport is making its final push with a unique viral campaign designed to get anyone to show their support via social media. They want people to just take a stance.
Thousands of people from around the world, from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to actor Billy Baldwin to local wrestlers turned MMA stars like UFC champion and Hofstra product Chris Weidman and Rutgers assistant coach and MMA star Frankie Edgar have joined others in posing in their favorite wrestling stance and posting their photos on various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and more with the hashtag #TakeAStance.
“No matter where you are from we all use the same iconic wrestling stance as our universal language, and we hope this will show the IOC and the world that all wrestlers stand together to save the sport,” said wrestling committee chairman Bill Scherr.
The Take A Stance campaign is the latest way anyone, from the young to the old, can be involved in the last global pitch to put one of the world’s oldest sports back center stage for generations to come.
All the photos can be seen by visiting http://www.fila-official.com/.