Integrity, passion, attitude, hard work, sacrifice, team spirit. Those 6 things are wrestling in a nut shell. It's easy to label wrestling as this dynamic sport of throws, pins, and gold medals. Wrestling is much more than that. Wrestling at it's core is unique, and it might be what the world needs right now during this time of political strain.
As an outsider, it's easy to overlook the sport of wrestling. You might be flipping through and see it on ESPN once a year for the NCAA tournament, or maybe even the Big Ten Network on Friday evenings. At worst, you might catch it in the summer Olympics every four years. Wrestling is not something that is sought out by the average sports fan like the NBA, NFL, or MLB. Wrestling really doesn't get that million dollar exposure, at least in the United States.
Wrestling in the United States can serve another purpose. Man's oldest sport can show the average American, hell, the average human being, that despite boarders, skin color, religion, and social status, anyone can succeed through the use of hard work, passion, integrity, sacrifice, attitude, and team spirit.
Next week, Tehran, Iran will host the freestyle wrestling world cup. Everyone seems to have an opinion on the event, where it's held, and if we should go. In reality, none of these people making these decisions have probably stepped on a wrestling mat, and have no idea the good that could come from a showing of sportsmanship and competition. A wrestling match at the highest level will always be won by the better man on that given day. Won by the man (or woman) who has sacrificed, worked hard, had a great attitude in training, and has had the integrity to make weight and take care of themselves the correct way. Competition has never been won by skin color, religion, or your status in the social spot light.
Entering the United World Wrestling Freestyle World Cup on February 16th and 17th, Team USA and the 7 other competing countries, have a chance to show the world that cauliflower ear diplomacy is a real thing, and how beautiful it can be.
Wrestling, do your thing.