Ferd's Words Chun vows, don’t count wrestling out of Olympics By Ferd Lewis Feb. 23, 2013 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Remember the ferocity with which freestyle wrestler Clarissa Chun fought her way toward the bronze medal in the London Olympics last year? Recall the tenacity that carried her back from an earlier round defeat to earn a place on the medal stand? Well, now it is focused on a new battle, getting the International Olympic Committee to retain wrestling as an Olympic sport. And pity the bureaucrats who stand in the way of the 105.5-pound dynamo. With all the might that won Chun berths in two Olympiads, the Roosevelt High graduate is now pitching in as a member of the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling. The committee was formed this week in the wake of the IOC’s recently announced plans to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport in 2020. Chun, who would be 38 or 39 years old in 2020, depending on the date of the Games, for which a site has yet to be decided, knows she would not have her future as a competitor impacted. But for someone who has glimpsed first-hand the dreams and felt the passion of her potential successors, that is beside the point. "I get to meet a lot of kids at the various clinics and speaking engagements and a lot of them have the same dream I have, of wanting to be an Olympic champion," Chun said. "A lot of the kids say, ‘I want to be just like you.’ And, I tell them, ‘No, you want to be better and you want to be you.’ I want them to have that chance, just as I have. So it was really tough for me to hear that about the decision the IOC made. That’s why I’m part of the committee to go and fight it." Chun has embraced the cause even as she works on a master’s degree in business and trains in Columbia, Mo., for a shot at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. "I’m taking it (2016) year-by-year right now," Chun said of her pursuit of a third Olympiad. She’s working with the University of Missouri team and assistant coach Sammie Henson, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist. "He (Henson) has four kids, two of them are 13 and 10, and seeing them inspires me," Chun said. "They are so passionate and competitive and have dreams of being Olympians like their dad. They are fun to watch because of the way they compete. They love wrestling the way I love it." Then there is the history of wrestling, which is generally considered the second-oldest Olympic sport behind track and field, dating to 708 B.C. It was also part of the first modern Olympics in 1896. "There are so many reasons it should always be in the Olympic games," Chun said. Which is why Chun vows, "The fight is not over yet. We have until May (when the IOC executive board meets) and then September (when the general assembly votes) to get this changed," Chun said. "We’ll fight this all the way." Knowing the personality behind those words, would you expect anything else? Reach Ferd Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 529-4820. Previous Story As long as Te’o can play, his draft stock will be fine Next Story Wahine hoops a contender? Who would have thunk it?