Sushil, Yogeshwar flag off 'Push for Wrestling' campaign
New Delhi: In a bid to garner support for reinstating wrestling into the Olympics, India's star wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt on Thursday flagged off a campaign urging supporters to show their solidarity with the sport.
Over the next week, a petition campaign will travel across cities in Haryana and Punjab to push for wrestling's bid to remain in the 2020 Olympic programme when the IOC meets in May.
"We urge all the supporters of the game to come forward and support 'Push for Wrestling' campaign and show the world how much we love the sport. The removal of the sport from the 2020 Olympics would ruin dreams of many wrestlers," Sushil said at the launch of the campaign by soft drink brand Mountain Dew.
Asked if he was thinking of retuning his Olympic medals in protest, as some of the wrestlers from Russia and Bulgaria have threatened, Sushil said that there are better ways of protesting against the IOC's decision.
"I think there are better ways of registering your protest. A medal is earned after lot of hardships. Also, I am confident the sport will be re-included as it has massive fan following," the silver medallist at the London Olympics said.
Meanwhile, Yogeshwar said he would be more than happy to return the bronze medal he won in London last year if the move guarantees wrestling's stay in the list of Olympic core sports.
"We are working on the guidance of our federation. If they think that the wrestlers should return their medals in protest, I will be the first one to do it," Yogeshwar said.
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Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan, who recently announced his support to the Pro-Kabaddi League, says that sport chose him. "I did not choos... More Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan, who recently announced his support to the Pro-Kabaddi League, says that sport chose him. "I did not choose kabaddi; in fact, the sport chose me. It's a traditional sport and is yet to receive its due in a cricket-csrazy nation. Being a sports lover myself, I want to change the perception about the game in India. Despite kabaddi being an Indian game, it comes a long way down the pecking order of sports in our country. I want to promote it and would like to see the fan base of the game increasing tremendously with this tournament," he said.
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