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
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.