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The 3-Minute Interview: Kerry McCoy, University of Maryland head wrestling coach

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McCoy is head wrestling coach at the University of Maryland and an executive board member for USA Wrestling, the national governing body for amateur wrestling. He spoke to The Washington Examiner about the International Olympic Committee's recent recommendation to drop wrestling from the 2020 games.

What was your initial reaction when you heard the news?

Initially it was shock. ... Then it was the realization that it's actually happening, and what can we do to make sure it doesn't happen. You can sulk and be upset, or you can be proactive and do something. Our wrestling community is going to attack this full-fledged.

Was there any indication it was coming?

There's no reason for us to think that we would be considered because it is one of the original sports. It's very popular, not just here but internationally. The lesson we learned is we can't take anything for granted. Just because you're the big dog on the porch doesn't mean you can sit there and be complacent. Our international body has to do a better job to make sure we're not in that situation.

How will it impact the sport in the U.S. if they go through with dropping it?

It affects wrestling at every level because the Olympic champions are the people every wrestler looks up to and wants to be able to pursue that. To be an NCAA champion means you're the best in the country. To be an Olympic champion means your the best in the world.

What argument can you make to change the IOC's decision?

The value of wrestling being one of the oldest sports. Wrestling is in the [Olympic] anthem: run, jump, wrestle. It's one of the most diverse sports in the world. It also gives opportunities for men and women, for disabled athletes. Anybody can wrestle. It doesn't matter how tall or short. For some countries, it's their national sport, their NFL.

- Steve Contorno

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