US, Russia, Iran join hands to keep Olympic wrestling

Updated: 2013-05-15 15:39


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To show the solidarity among the often-divergent countries, the US, Iranian and Russian wrestling teams are scheduled to meet in a historic exhibition on Wednesday in New York City, kicking off what the FILA has described as "the World Wrestling Month."

The New York exhibition, known as "The Rumble on the Rails," will be held at the Grand Central Terminal, the hub of daily railway traffic in the downtown area of New York City, in order to showcase the sport's international appeal and popularity.

US, Russia, Iran join hands to keep Olympic wrestling

Ukraine's Kateryna Burmistrova (red) wrestles with Poland's Agnieszka Wieszczek-Kordus during the female wrestling 72kg bronze medal match at the Senior Wrestling European Championship in Tbilisi, March 22, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

The Wednesday game will also mark the first time in 10 years for the Iranians to compete in the United States, which is a typical example of how wrestling transcends politics and cultural differences. They will compete with Americans in another exhibition in Los Angles on May 19.

"In championships, winning is less important, it is rather about the display of culture, social harmony, selflessness, friendship, fairness, courtesy and morals," Mattin said. "It is exactly in this spirit that the (Iranian) international wrestling team accepted the kind invitation of the US wrestling competition and come to the United States and takes part in friendly competitions."

"I hope these friendly competitions can continue in the future," Mattin said.

The United States and Russia have a long history of cooperative wrestling competitions on each other's soil, going back to the 1960s and the era of the Cold War.

Competition between the United States and Iran is much less frequent, but equally an example of international goodwill through wrestling.

"The United Nations brings people together from different religions and cultures," said a wrestler from the United States, referring to the Tuesday event. "People came to the UN to find a common ground, and wrestling is here to help."

"We're going to show the world that the United States, Iran and Russia, through the vehicle of wrestling, can bring people together," said US coach Zeke Jones.


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