Students and coaches react to Olympic wrestling decision - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Students and coaches react to Olympic wrestling decision

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INDIANAPOLIS -

In the world of high school wrestling, you don't get much better than Mitch Silga.

"Mitch Sliga of Fishers on mat two. He moves to 47-0 on the season," says the announcer.

The defending state champ is going after another title this weekend at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. His moves on the mat have also landed him a wrestling scholarship to Northwestern in the fall and as if that weren't enough, he also has his sights set on Olympic gold.

"I'd definitely like to give it a shot in 2020 I would have been out of college for two years, that would have been my best chance," said Sliga.

But those dreams, will likely remain unrealized after the International Olympic Committee decided to cut wrestling from the games in 2020.

"It's the biggest stage you can get on as a wrestler so cutting that I think is just a tragedy of the sport," said Sliga.

Perry Meridian wrestling coach Jim Tontae believes the elimination of Olympic wrestling would mean program cuts at the collegiate and high school levels. He says the real losers are the athletes.

"The Olympics is a lifelong dream and these guys have put their heart and soul into it and I really feel bad for them. Fans of the sport are concerned this move would devastate wrestling as we know it. But there is an effort underway that would hopefully change the IOC's mind," Tontae explained.

Chuck Tolley's son Connor who is a top rated athlete, who is disappointed he may not have a future in the sport

"I think it really does play havoc on how they are thinking right now and what's in it next for them," said Tolley.

Tom Clark, a wrestling referee who went to the 2008 games in Bejing believes international outrage will sway the committee.

"We think we're going to get it back. The public outcry from the people who don't have anything to do with wrestling has been phenomenal not only from our country but all over the world," said Clark.

A change of heart could mean a new direction for talented Hoosiers looking to pin down their future.

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