Iran, Russia Faced Off At Annual Wrestling Event

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The annual Rumble on the Rails went down Wednesday afternoon at Grand Central Terminal.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the cheering for the wrestlers was deafening in the great Vanderbilt Hall, maybe because there’s so much more at stake.

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“This year, unfortunately, the International Olympic Committee has recommended that wrestling be dropped from the Olympic Games. And so we’re here to bring awareness and showcase our sport in front of the world,” said Wes Battle with the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling. “It’s really one of the oldest and most basic, fundamental sports and we think that 10 million people around the world wrestle and it deserves its place in the Olympics.”

Battle added the choice of competitors from Iran and Russia was no accident.

“Countries that don’t typically get along diplomatically, we do have some commonality through sport,” he told Diamond.

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Wrestling fans watch Rumble on the Rails at Grand Central Terminal, May 15, 2013. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Wrestling fans watch Rumble on the Rails at Grand Central Terminal, May 15, 2013. (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

The stands were packed with Iranian ex-patriots cheering on the wrestlers.

The annual event raises $1 million for Beat the Streets, which introduces thousands of New York City kids to wrestling.

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