After months of speculation, it looks as if Penn State is finally set to host the 2020 Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, according to a Thursday report by FloWrestling.
In a document from USA Wrestling — which outlines the Olympic Team Trials procedures for next year and was obtained by FloWrestling — State College, Pa., is listed as the site of next year’s team trials from April 4-5.
USA Wrestling did not return several messages seeking comment, and a Penn State spokesperson declined to comment, referring all questions to USA Wrestling.
Still, the news shouldn’t take wrestling fans by surprise. In March, Penn State wrestling legend David Taylor reportedly told a group of alumni during the NCAA Wrestling Championships that the trials were already headed to Happy Valley. Athletic Director Sandy Barbour then responded, according to Onward State, that she “didn’t realize the news was ready to go public yet.”
Apparently, USA Wrestling and Penn State were still not prepared for it to go public.
The document, which FloWrestling cited, was released April 5 — but it’s just now that outlets are recognizing that State College is listed there as the host city for the team trials. The news itself was never officially announced by Penn State or USA Wrestling.
A spokesperson from USA Wrestling told the CDT in March that an announcement could come “soon,” but said there were still moving parts in choosing a venue.
Although a venue was not listed in the aforementioned document, it’s widely believed to be the Bryce Jordan Center because of its increased capacity. A USA Wrestling official also told the CDT in January 2018 that the BJC was a potential venue for the 2020 Olympic Team Trials.
It was then, in early 2018, that Penn State hosting the 2020 Olympic Team Trials publicly became an option. But, according to officials in 2018, Penn State coach Cael Sanderson approached the organization as early as 2012 regarding the team trials — and, since 2016, both USA Wrestling and the Penn State administration started working closely.
So, in some ways, Thursday’s news was a long time coming.
The 2020 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials will be the final leg of qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which are set to take place from July 24 to Aug. 9. To qualify for the trials that are set to take place at Penn State, wrestlers have a number of opportunities to get in — from winning gold in the Pan Am Championships to winning titles at the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Although no one has obviously yet locked up his spot, several former Nittany Lions are expected to contend — including Taylor, Zain Retherford and Bo Nickal.