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Sports brings nations together: U.S. wrestling coach

Source: Tehran Times

The United States freestyle wrestling coach Zeke Jones has said that sports bring nations together. In an email interview with the Tehran Times on Tuesday, Jones also talked about the 2013 Freestyle World Cup, which will be held in Tehran from February 20 to 21. 

U.S. freestyle wrestling coach Zeke Jones

Following is the text of Jones's interview with the Tehran times:

Question: There are currently no formal diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States, but you have a close relationship with the Iranian Wrestling Federation, and since 1998 the Americans teams have competed in Iran numerous times. Do you think sports could solve the two country's political problems?

Answer: Yes, absolutely. Sports and particularly wrestling, has always been a great ambassador that has brought many nations together, including Iran and the United States. Wrestling has created a close relationship between the American and Iranian people and I look forward to seeing my Iranian fans and friends this week. I'm also glad to see my close friend Gholam Reza Mohammadi.

Q: You are preparing for the World Cup, which will be held in Tehran. You have already said you will come to Tehran with your complete team. Are you going to win the title?

A: I never make predictions. I do that we'll compete hard, give our best effort, and the best team will win. 

Q: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is going to drop wrestling from 2020. As an Olympics medal winner, please let us know your Idea about that and what's your solution to prevent the decision?

A: First, the IOC has only recommended to drop wrestling which means it's not a done deal yet.  In May and September, the IOC will revisit the Olympic program and then make a decision. I believe that the world outcry in support of wrestling after the IOC announcement. It will make them change their minds and reinstate wrestling to the Olympic program. I think the way we get the IOC to change their decision is to build better bridges between the leadership of wrestling and the IOC, share the great values of wrestling with them, and to show them how important the history and tradition of wrestling is for the Olympic Games. The world loves wrestling. 

Q: The speculations suggest that Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs, who defeated Iran's Sadegh Goudarzi in 74kg weight class in London, will compete at the 84kg in Tehran. 

A: No. He is wrestling 74 kg this week.

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