29th CISM World Military Wrestling Championship is officially open

By Mr. Denis Dujardins | Conseil International du Sport Militaire | October 02, 2014

The gym which will host the 29th CISM World Military Wrestling Championship at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (MDL), New Jersey was well decorated for the opening ceremony for the 2014 Championship.

Competitors from 24 nations made final corrections to their military uniforms and then marched in procession for the parade of athletes as they were introduced proudly bearing their respective flag.

Colonel James C. Hodges, Commander of Joint Base MDL  thanked the participants and wished them the best of luck.  “Our Motto is to Serve as a Champion”, said Col. Hodges, “now go and win as one”.

Colonel Jorge Ribeiro, CISM sports director and official CISM representative for this Championship, was talking about the history of the CISM and its creation. The 2014 championship, with 24 nations, is the largest CISM Wrestling Championship except at the World Games.

Col. Ribeiro congratulated the organizers for their work for over one year in order to provide the best possible competition to the world. He noted that wrestling is a complete sport for a soldier because there are agility, flexibility, speed, technique, tactics and anticipation. Colonel Ribeiro also recalls the important part of military sports in civil international competitions. To look past statistics, nearly a quarter of the Olympic medals are won by soldiers. At the end of the speech, the CISM and the USA anthems have been executed two flags were raised up.

UFC and cheerleaders

For the show, after the official part, the organizers had invited Randy "the Natural" Couture, three-time Ultimate Fighting Championship title holder, former U.S. Army soldier and former CISM military world wrestling champion. "I am very happy, impressed and honored to come back on this mat”, said Couture,” Because it is here, at Fort Dix, in 1985, while I was a soldier, I competed for the first time for the Army and then during the Military World Championship… and I've been a world champion." Couture showed his support and stayed for a photo opportunity and autograph session for the CISM Wrestlers and fans.

Finally, the Eagles Cheerleaders of the NFL club of Philadelphia made a very notable performance on the mat.

The competition will begin tomorrow morning at 8.30 with men’s Freestyle 57kg, 61kg, 65kg and 70kg;  and females 48kg, 53kg, 55kg and 58kg.