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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Holds Barred: Bobby Douglas and Bruce Baumgartner on the Future of Wrestling 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with wrestling legends Bobby Douglas and Bruce Baumgartner.
We spoke with each of them right before the U.S.-Russia dual freestyle wrestling meet in New York on May 5, 2011, in the Times Square area.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Bobby Douglas was the first African-American to make a U.S. Olympic wrestling team, and the first African-American U.S. Olympic wrestling coach. He also coached Arizona State to an NCAA Div. I title in 1988, and at Iowa State coached Cael Sanderson to his record-setting four undefeated seasons and four national titles. He also helped coach the U.S. team at this May 5 meet.
We spoke with Coach Douglas about his newly-released biography, "Bobby Douglas: Life and Legacy of an American Wrestling Legend", written by Craig Sesker, and its importance for wrestling. We discussed the many benefits of wrestling, some of the problems facing college wrestling, the importance of the Beat the Streets program for wrestling, the problems facing U.S. wrestling internationally including keeping wrestlers in the Olympic program, the need to tweak high school and college rules to make them closer to international rules, why American wrestlers are improperly prepared to wrestle at the Olympic level, and more.
Bruce Baumgartner is a four-time Olympic medalist in freestyle wrestling, having won two gold medals along with one silver and one bronze, all at heavyweight. He is currently the Director of Athletics at Edinboro University and on the board of USA Wrestling.
We discussed with him the problem of American wrestlers not staying with the Olympic program long enough, the need to adapt to international rules while maintaining the tradition of American folkstyle, the difficulties facing college wrestling, and more.
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