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Silver medal winner says Wisconsin has five or six potential Olympian wresters

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sports River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Wisconsin would be hit hard if wrestling disappears from the Olympic Games. The executive board of the International Olympic Committee has recommended dropping the sport from the 2020 Games.

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Wrestling could still get a reprieve if the IOC chooses it over seven other sports being considered for the 2020 games - including a combined entry for baseball and softball.

Dennis Hall of Stevens Point, who won a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, now operates a wrestling club with some high-potential athletes. He said he has about five or six potential Olympians. He calls the decision to drop wrestling "a killer."

He said it might force up-and-coming athletes like Jesse Thielke of Germantown to drop out of college and train full-time for what could be his final chance at Olympic gold in 2016.

Thielke placed fourth at the U.S. trials in 2012.

Wrestling has been part of the modern games since 1896. No reason was given for the recommendation to drop it.

Ben Provisor of Stevens Point, who competed in London last year, was looking forward to several more chances at Olympic gold. He said he was hoping to compete for 12 more years, but now it looks like it will be just four.

Wisconsin has also had other Olympic greats including John and Ben Peterson, Russ Hellickson and Andy Rein.

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