Iowa State wrestling coach Bobby Douglas says the U-S Men’s Freestyle Wrestling team would have won lots of gold had they gone to the World Championships in Tehran, which began this week. Due to threats to the U-S Team, the wrestlers aren’t going, and neither is Douglas, the national team’s coach. Douglas says he feels nothing but great sympathy for the wrestlers. Douglas says America lost out on the eve of 9/11, and it would have been a great opportunity for the US team to “get even” and show our resolve. The next World Freestyle Wrestling Championships will be in New York City, and Douglas says everyone will be welcome. Douglas says Iran will probably win the World Championships, and he says while they publicly may be saying they’re sorry the U-S won’t be there, Douglas believes they’re saying something else privately. Douglas says it would have been difficult for the Iranians to see the Americans “cart off all that gold,” and Douglas says the U-S team would have won a lot of friends, internationally, and done some good things for the world. Governor Tom Vilsack invited Douglas and the other Iowa wrestlers on the U-S team to his office today, as he has declared September 5th “Iowa Wrestling Champions Day” Three of the seven wrestlers on the U-S team are Iowans, and Vilsack says today’s proclamation in no way substitutes for the trip they would have made and the victories they would have won, but was just a gesture to let the wrestlers know the state is proud of them. Cael Sanderson of Ames, Chris Bono of Gilbert and Joe Williams of Coralville made the U-S team. Tom Brands of Iowa City was a coach, too.
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