Iowa City, Iowa has been selected to host the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling.
The event will be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa from April 21-22, 2012.
Iowa City was one of three finalist cities to make final presentations on their bid to a selection committee on January 12. The committee included USA Wrestling staff and athletes, as well as representatives from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The other cities to make finalist presentations were Columbus, Ohio and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Initially, seven cities bid to host the competition. Those cities which were not selected for finalist presentations were Greensboro, N.C., Hampton, Va., Oklahoma City, Okla. and Pontiac, Mich.
“We are unbelievably pleased and humbled with the response we received from cities wishing to host our most valuable event property,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. “We would like to thank the leaders from all three finalist cities for their outstanding presentations. We hope that all of these cities continue to be involved with USA Wrestling and host wrestling events in years to come.”
The initial bid proposal for the event also included the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Weightlifting. Due to a scheduling conflict, USA Weightlifting could no longer hold Trials on the selected dates and stepped out of the bid process.
The event will feature competition in the three Olympic styles of the sport – men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle. The competition will determine the U.S. athletes who will qualify to represent the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
The local organizing committee is led by the University of Iowa Athletics and the Iowa City/Coralville Area CVB and includes leaders from the City of Iowa City, City of Coralville and City of North Liberty. Among those serving on the host committee are legendary collegiate and Olympic wrestlers Dan Gable, Tom Brands, Terry Brands, Lincoln McIlravy and Cornell College coach Mike Duroe.
"I believe this is a good decision for the future of wrestling at all levels. This will help increase the visibility of our sport. I see more growth for wrestling as a result. It gets me very excited,” said wrestling legend Dan Gable from the local organizing committee.
“The Iowa City local organizing committee was selected based upon their proven track record of hosting large and successful wrestling events, as well as a history of drawing strong fan support,” said Bender. ‘We are committed to working tirelessly with the organizing committee and the entire community to host the most successful U.S. Olympic Team Trials in our history.”
“This community is fired up to welcome our nation’s best to Carver Hawkeye Arena and will come together as they have so many times to produce a Trials that is remembered for years to come,” said Joshua Schamberger, President of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau “Our entire community couldn’t be more excited by this news. We look forward to creating an athlete and fan experience that will carry on through London.”
Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which is located on the University of Iowa campus, serves as the home arena for Iowa’s wrestling team, as well as Iowa’s basketball and volleyball squads. The arena seats 15,000 for wrestling and is named after long-time wrestling supporter Roy J. Carver. The $47 million Carver-Hawkeye Arena – Addition and Renovation Project is underway to expand and upgrade facilities, and is scheduled for completion in time for the 2011-12 athletic year.
This is the first time that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling has been hosted in Iowa since USA Wrestling has served as National Governing Body in 1984.
Carver-Hawkeye Arena hosted the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships four times (1986, 1991, 1995, 2001). The total attendance figures for the 1995 (80,389), 2001 (79,477) and 1991 (70.163) NCAA Championships rank ninth, 11th and 15th, respectively among NCAA Wrestling Championships. It also hosted the Big Ten Wrestling Championships three times (1983, 1994, 2005).
A preliminary U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifying event for wrestling was held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 1984. Other major wrestling competitions held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena include two NWCA All-Star Classics (1993, 1996) and two Cliff Keen NWCA National Duals (1998, 1999).
The Field House at the University of Iowa hosted the first USA Wrestling Junior National Championships in 1971, and served as venue for the competition from 1971-1982. Iowa City also hosted USA Wrestling’s Greco-Roman National Championships three times (1975, 1977, 1978). Iowa City also hosted the 1983 USA Wrestling Freestyle World Team Trials.
“We are thrilled and excited with this remarkable opportunity to stage an event that will have the full attention of wrestling community not only in the state of Iowa and the Heartland, but the United States and the world. We are also delighted with the opportunity to showcase the revitalized Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Rest assured, the University of Iowa, the UI Athletics Department, and our city partners are ready to stage an event that USA Wrestling will be very, very proud of,” said Gary Barta, Athletics Director of the University of Iowa.
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS FOR WRESTLING
(Organized by USA Wrestling as the sport’s NGB)
1984 – Allendale, Mich.
1988 – Pensacola, Fla.
1992 – Pittsburgh, Pa. (FS); Concord, Calif. (GR)
1996 – Spokane, Wash. (FS); Concord, Calif.(GR)
2000 – Dallas, Texas
2004 – Indianapolis, Ind.
2008 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2012 – Iowa City, Iowa