Arjan Bhullar is familiar with making comebacks.
The Olympic and Commonwealth Games wrestler has fought back in his fair share of contests to be declared the winner.
But early on Sunday morning, one of the most important victories his beloved sport earned was one he helped fight away from the mat as Olympic officials voted to keep the sport in the quadrennial competition.
"Yeah, I was pretty excited. I was watching the IOC news conference from Buenos Aires and when they announced wrestling was back in I jumped up and down and did a few fist pumps," said the Richmond resident who grew up training in a gym his parents set up in their home.
Wrestling, which has been a mainstay of the modern version of the Olympic Games was on the chopping block of sports earlier this year as the International Olympic Committee was exploring ways to make its summer event more appealing.
Citing waning interest and TV viewership, wrestling had to grapple with baseball and squash for the sole spot of sports being included. In a vote among IOC officials, wrestling managed to pin down the majority of the 95 votes with 49.
Baseball was next with 24, and squash third with 22.
"It's probably the most important day for the sport's history," said Bhullar, a Commonwealth Games champion who is vowing to compete in the next Summer Olympic Games - 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
"This sends a clear message to the young athletes that there will be a place for them to aspire to since the Olympics represents the pinnacle of our sport," Bhullar said, adding he gives much of the credit to former Canadian Olympic gold medal-winning wrestlers Daniel Igali (Sydney 2000) and Carol Huynh (Beijing 2008) who made personal presentations to the IOC in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital city Sunday.
The sport's governing body, International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, also made some amendments to modernize wrestling's rules to increase competition on the mat, make it more attractive to viewers, and be more inclusive to female competitors.
"We're also looking at marketing the sport better, and are looking to copy some of the ways MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) promotes its sport," said Bhullar who is doing his part locally with a wrestling program being readied for a January 2014 launch at the oval.
Leading up to that, Bhullar said he will be making his way through Lower Mainland schools to promote the sport and his program.
"There are a lot of great athletes out there. This is a great sport for them," he said.
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