Freestyle Wrestling to Bring World’s Best Back to Iowa
It's an exciting time for wrestling. The sport is on the rise for women with several colleges, including the biggest among them so far at the University of Iowa, adding it as an athletic program and it was recently officially sanctioned by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU). Meanwhile, freestyle wrestling has been a staple for males and females to take part in for years. The world's best in both will be bringing their grappling skills and fighting spirits to Coralville, as it's been announced that Xtream Arena will be host to the next two United World Wrestling (UWW) World Cups, in both 2022 and 2023.
The Des Moines Register says this year's event is already scheduled, December 10-11. UWW awarded the hosting role for the competitions to USA Wrestling, for the 31st time for the men and the first time for the women. The organization then chose Xtream Arena for the location. The event was held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2018 when the United States won in front of its home country at one of the premier wrestling hubs in the nation.
Teams from the Top 5 countries in both categories plus an "all-world" team will compete. The all-world team features a hodge-podge of the best wrestlers whose countries finished outside the Top 5 overall.
Freestyle wrestling does have a few differences compared to the style of amateur competition we previously talked about, but with Iowa City/Coralville generally being known as the wrestling capital of America, officials are more than excited for this event's return. According to Josh Schamberger of Think Iowa City:
We couldn’t be more honored to be the community chosen to set the bar for how this event should look and run. And quite honestly, we aim for that bar to actually never be reached outside of Iowa City, Iowa, which is Wrestling Town, USA
Xtream has already played host to several state, regional and national wrestling competitions since opening in September 2020.