Gov. Dennis Daugaard has joined 32 other governors in calling for continuation of wrestling as an Olympic sport.
The group of governors has sent a letter to International Olympic Committee Executive Board President Dr. Jacques Rogge, urging the committee to reconsider its recent decision to eliminate wrestling as an Olympic sport in 2020.
Wrestling was a key sport in ancient civilization, and it has continued to enrich the Olympic tradition, the letter states.
"The Olympic Games are meant to provide a venue for people from all nations to overcome differences and forge lasting relationships, and wrestling has contributed to these Olympic attributes," the governor's wrote. "We believe that renewing or renovating the Olympics should respect key Olympic traditions. We would also encourage a transparent voting system for future votes on which sports should be included as part of the Olympic Games. As public servants, we hold transparency as a sacred principle, and we would encourage the IOC to abide by that same principle."
Gov. Daugaard said wrestling is a popular sport in South Dakota, and the state has sent several wrestlers to the Olympic Games over the years – including Randy Lewis of Rapid City, who won a gold medal in 1984.