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United We Wrestle

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Photograph By Alex Tehrani

The Russian and U.S. national wrestling teams met for United 4 Wrestling, a promotional competition in Los Angeles on May 19th that aimed to foster unity in the sport and encourage the IOC to include wrestling as an Olympic event. (In February, the sport was removed from the 2020 program but now is fighting for a chance to return.) The event originally included the Iranian team, who pulled out at the last minute. The Russians, who were preparing for their return flight to Moscow, agreed to take their place. Pictured, Russian national team coach Christakis Alexandris shares a laugh with his team before their sightseeing day in Los Angeles on the 18th. Alexandris, five wrestlers and an assistant coach had just flown in from New York City, where they'd competed on Wednesday in the Rumble on the Rails, an event similar to United 4 Wrestling.