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US, Russia and Iran to wrestle in New York

Published May 14, 2013 8:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The governments of the United States and Russia can sometimes be at odds.

Americans and Iranians rarely see eye to eye on anything.

But the possibility of wrestling losing its Olympic spot has given these three often-divergent nations a cause to rally around.

The U.S., Russian and Iranian wrestling teams will meet on Wednesday for an historic exhibition in New York. It's a showcase event for what the sport's international governing body has dubbed "World Wrestling Month."

The IOC in February recommended that wrestling be dropped from the Olympic program starting in 2020. Wrestling now has to plead its case to the IOC to be included as a provisional sport in St. Petersburg, Russia on May 29.

The New York exhibition, known as "The Rumble on the Rails" and to be held at Grand Central Terminal, is designed to highlight the sport's international appeal and popularity. The pre-meet news conference is even being held at the United Nations, and the meet will be televised live by the NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports — a rarity for a sport struggling for ways to make itself more viewer-friendly.

The Iranians, who will be competing in the U.S. for the first time in 10 years, will also compete against the Americans at an exhibition in Los Angeles on May 19.