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Olympic Trials for Wrestling to Be Held in Fort Worth Despite COVID-19 Restrictions

The United States Olympic Team trials for wrestling will be held in Fort Worth at Dickies Arena on April 2 and 3, the city announced recently. 

The Olympics are currently planned for August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. They were postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“USA Wrestling is extremely grateful to the Fort Worth Sports Authority, the incredible Dickies Arena and Texas USA Wrestling for their tireless efforts to host one of the most important wrestling events in the history of American wrestling,” USA Wrestling executive director Rich Bender said in a press statement. 

Originally, the event was scheduled to occur at Penn State University, but it was relocated “due to a variety of factors, including current COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and the desire to provide the ability to accommodate all of the participants, staff and fans.”

The City of Fort Worth currently has COVID-19 occupancy restrictions and a mask mandate in place. According to the city’s website, “all indoor and outdoor professional, collegiate and similar sporting events, including rodeos and equestrian events, are limited to 50% occupancy.”

The Dickies Arena website also confirms that seating may be limited, “with spacing of 6′, between parties to allow for physical distancing protocols.”  It is owned by the city of Fort Worth and operated by Trail Drive Management Corporation.

Attendees of the wrestling team trials who wish to enjoy an evening out at a restaurant or bar may find their plans thwarted by the continuing restrictions on seating capacities at those establishments. Some bars continue to fight restrictions and have faced fines, license suspensions, and closures

The Olympic Trials will feature three events: men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle, and Greco-Roman. Given recent gender policy statements, attendees may find themselves watching biological males compete against women for positions on the team.

USA Wrestling has adopted the International Olympic Committee’s policy, which allows for the inclusion of biological males who identify themselves as women to compete alongside female athletes. 

Their policy states in part, “Athletes would also be required to demonstrate that their total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months prior to their first competition – with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women’s competition.”

The issue of transgender participation in sports has come to the fore recently with the White House Executive Order related to Title VII. Texas Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) filed a bill to prevent biological males from competing against women in public school athletic events. 

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