A Former Wrestler’s Open Letter To The International Olympic Committee & Olympic Sponsors. Save Olympic Wrestling!

Dear International Olympic Committee & Olympic Sponsors

cc: Friends of Wrestling,

Your decision today clearly upset a large number of Olympic fans around the world.  While we who are not privy to all of the issues you must grapple with internally, cannot know exactly what led to your decision announced today to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic games, it is clear you have miscalculated on at least one front.  To wit, wrestling is one of the toughest sports ever invented and anyone who has wrestled at any level or has been close to wrestling can tell you… wrestlers are a tenacious lot.  In fact, we don’t give up.  The level of protest you can expect from this community will surely come as a surprise to all of you.

There three main reasons why the Olympics will be diminished without wrestling:

1. Wrestling, a truly international sport, has been around since pre-historic times and was an important part of Greek culture when the Olympics got its start –

According to WIKIPEDIA:

In the Ancient Near East, forms of belt wrestling were popular from earliest times.  A carving on a stone slabe showing three pairs of wrestlers was dated to around 3000 BC… A portrayal of figures wrestling was found in the tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum in Saqqara dating to around 2400 BC.  Another early piece of evidence for wrestling in Egypt appeared circa 2300 BC, on the tomb of the Old Kingdom philosopher Ptahhotep…. Greek wrestling was a popular form of martial art in which points were awarded for touching a competitor’s back to the ground, forcing a competitor out of bounds (arena).  Three falls determined the winner. It was at least featured as a sport since the eighteenth Olympiad in 704 BC. Wrestling is described in the earliest celebrated works of Greek literature, the Iliad and the Odyssey.   Wrestlers were also depicted in action on many vases, sculptures, and coins, as well as in other literature. Other cultures featured wrestling at royal or religious celebrations, but the ancient Greeks structured their style of wrestling as part of a tournament where a single winner emerged from a pool of competitors.   Late Greek tradition also stated that Plato was known for wrestling in the Isthmian games.

When the Olympic games resurfaced at Athens in 1896, Greco-Roman wrestling was introduced. After not being featured in the 1900 Olympics, sport wrestling was seen again in 1904 in St. Louis; this time in freestyle competition. Since then, Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling have both been featured, with women’s freestyle added in the Summer Olympics of 2004.

2. Wrestling has a tight knit passionate community of participants and followers globally, who greatly value and honor the Olympics.  Wrestling does not have a professional wrestling option as many other sports.  Unlike many other sports, the Olympics are the highest and most important venue for wrestling.  Many other sports have other higher levels (professional ).  All US (and international) wrestlers who got our start after him, grew up idolizing Dan Gable and his perfect performance (no point ever scored against him throughout the games) in the 1972 Olympic games.  I had the privilege of attending Dan Gable’s Iowa Intensive Training Camp back in 1983.

Smoke with Dan Gable in 1983

3.  Wrestlers and their friends have significant influence in today’s society.  It is ironic that the day the IOC chose to drop wrestling happens to be wrestler and greatest US President, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  We will use that influence to do anything in our power to change this short sighted decision.  Whether the wrestling greats like Dan Gable or the many others who have gone on to excel in their professional pursuits, we will work together to fix this.  Here are but a few of the well known Americans who wrestled (from the National Wrestling Coaches Association):

U.S. PRESIDENTS

Chester Arthur Calvin Coolidge Dwight Eisenhower

Ulysses S Grant Andrew Jackson Abraham Lincoln Teddy Roosevelt William Howard Taft

John Tyler

 

 

U.S. SENATE

The late John Chafee (former senator RI)

Lincoln Chafee (former senator RI)

Chuck Hagel ( Nebraska )

John McCain ( Arizona )

The Late Paul Wellstone ( Minnesota )

 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Brad Glass

Greg Ganske (Iowa )

Jim Jordon (Ohio)

Jim Leach ( Iowa )

Jim Nussle ( Iowa )

The Late Carl Albert (Former Speaker of the House)

Dennis Hastert ( Illinois ) (Former Speaker of the House)

 

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Donald Rumsfeld

Frank Carlucci

 

WHITE HOUSE STAFF

Ari Fleischer

George Stephanopoulos

 

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER

John Irving

 

ACTORS

Nate Parker

Mario Lopez

Ashton Kutcher

Tom Cruise

Billy Baldwin

 

BUSINESS LEADERS

Rocky Aoki, Benihana

Scott Beck, Boston Market

James Bigger, Nestlé

Dan Cathy, Chic-Fil-a

Stephen Friedman, Goldman Sachs and Cornell

Ron McGruder, Olive Garden

Edward Rust, State Farm

Arthur Rutzen, Wells Fargo

MILITARY LEADERS

Military leaders

Denny Benchoff

Greg “Pappy” Boyington

Charles C Krulak

George Patton

Al Rushotz

Norman Schwartzkopf

ATHLETES

NFL

Stephen Neal – New England Patriots

Antonio Garay – San Diego Chargers

Davin Joseph – Tampa Bay

Ronde Barber – Tampa Bay

Joe Condo – Oakland

Chris Colley – Washington

Ray Lewis – Baltimore

Lorenzo Neal – San Diego

Donnie Edwards

Kelly Gregg – Baltimore

Bryant McKinnie – Minnesota

David Patten – New England

Adam Vinatieri – Indianapolis

Ricky Williams – Miami

Coy Wire – Atlanta

Roddy White – Atlanta

Ronnie Brown – Miami

Matt Roth – Cleveland

Mike Patterson – Philadelphia

Luis Castillo – San Diego

Jim Nance – New England

Brand Benson – NY Giants

Mike Reid – Bengals

Jeff Richardson – NY Jets

Tiki Barber – NY Giants

Tedy Bruschi – New England

Larry Czonka – Miami

Bob Golic – Cleveland

Mike Golic – Philadelphia

Carlton Haselrig – Pittsburgh

Bo Jackson – Oakland

Matt Millen – Oakland

Warren Sapp – Tampa Bay

Mark Schlereth – Denver

Chuck Noll – Pittsburgh

Curley Culp – Kansas City Chiefs

At the Olympic Wrestling Trials in Indianapolis in 2004

US Olympic Wrestling Trials - 2004 Former Cornell Wrestlers at Olympic Trials 2004

And if I could list all the non-American’s I would.  Wrestling is truly an international sport like few others.

Here is a NPR clip on the Turkish Wrestling response… an example of reaction around the world

IOC, I believe you will listen to reason so long as it is delivered by your sponsors.  These sponsors are global companies most of which are based in wrestling countries as are their customer.  The global partners of the Olympics include (along with their twitter handle):

Coca-Cola   https://twitter.com/cocacolaco

P&G  https://twitter.com/ProcterGamble

General Electric  https://twitter.com/generalelectric

DOW   https://twitter.com/DowChemical

McDonalds  https://twitter.com/McDonalds

Panasonic  https://jp.twitter.com/panasonic

Samsung  https://twitter.com/Samsungtweets

Omega  https://twitter.com/omegawatches

Visa  https://twitter.com/Visa

#saveolympicwrestling

For the Friends of Wrestling:

Here is the petition to re-instate wrestling into the Olympics.. please sign it.

Sign the Petition

If you are really motivated, tweet about it, mention the sponsors on twitter and worst case if we do not get support, take your business to other companies who are not supporting the IOC and this short sighted move.

Thanks and Kind Regards,

J. Smoke Wallin

former Cornell Wrestler, Bayshore HS Wrestler

Freshman Year Wrestling at Bayshore High School

Cornell Wrestling Team 1985

Serving The Greatest Generation

I came across this opinion piece I published in 2003 in Beverage Media’s Beverage Journals nationally. This was as my role as Chairman of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America WSWA and was meant to spur debate.

 

” Americans living in assisted living today typically are the only group outside of under 21 year olds who have to “sneak a drink” in a “brown bag”.  These great citizens who have contributed immensely to society and who are used to living a “good life” are underserved.”

 

Thought I’d re-post. Let me know if you have thoughts.

Serving the Greatest Generations by JSW v

Napa Smith Brewery – Continues to Gain Momentum – Wins Silver @GABF, Opens Tasting Room, Expands to 33 States

I have not posted about Napa Smith lately so here is a bit of catch up.. We acquired the brewery & winery in December 2010 so it has been under our control since January… 10+ months.. we spent the first 3 getting production back up and running and taking care of vendors.  Since then, we have been brewing to capacity and selling everything we make.  Steve Morgan, Don Barkley and the rest of the growing Napa Smith team have been hitting on all cylinders as we have ramped up.  The Paddington team has taken the lead on sales and distribution.  The combination has been awesome!

Napa Smith Brewery

 

Napa Smith Team

Some highlights over the past year:

  1. Paddington Brands acquires Napa Smith brewery & winery December 2010
  2. Napa Smith Beer now available in 33states.  This is from a base of just CA back in 2009.  See map.
  3. GABF Winner – Napa Smith Organic IPA won the Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival this year… huge!  More on this below.
  4. Napa Smith “Brew Pub” tasting room opened in Napa, CA… an awesome experience and long overdue for our home market!
  5. Numerous beer dinners and tasting and events throughout the year.
  6. Major retailer support with placements in Safeway, Whole Foods, Publix, HEB, Harris Teeter, Total Wine & More, BevMo, ABC, Cost Plus World Markets and many more….

 

Silver Medal Winner - Great American Beer Festival 201

      Don’s brewery team had a wonderful time in Denver at the GABF seeing old friends and trying so many terrific beers.

Don Barkley – Master Brewer – GABF Silver Winner – Napa Smith Organic IPA

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a short video of Don Barkley on Napa Smith Organic IPA

Don Barkley on Napa Smith Organic IPA

And here is a link to some of the pictures from the brew pub opening on facebook… Napa Smith Brew Pub Opening

Napa Smith Brew Pub Opening

 

Napa Smith Brew Pub - tasting menu

 

 

 

Napa Smith “Lost Dog” Red Ale blew out at the Brockway Pub in Carmel, Indiana just last weekend…

 

Smoke and Dave Hunter enjoying a Lost Dog at Brockway

Napa Smith "Lost Dog"

And an example of retail placements… Cost Plus World Market has Napa Smith on promotion in 130 stores right now.

Cost Plus World Markets Now has Napa Smith Beer

 

Napa Smith Lost Dog & Organic IPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paddington Brands Launches 90+ Rated Agostón Spanish Red Wines Nationally Through Walgreens

Indianapolis, IN – July 12, 2011 – Paddington Brands announced today that it has launched its Agostón wine brand through Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain.  Bodegas Virgen del Aguila, the Spanish wine cooperative, confirmed Paddington Brands as the exclusive U.S. importer of Agoston wines.

 

Agoston Tempranillo Cabernet from Spain - now available at ALL Walgreens

“When we first tasted Agostón, we knew this was a wine that would appeal to American consumers,” said J. Smoke Wallin, chairman and CEO of Paddington Brands. “Year after year Agoston has been receiving 90+ points in the Penin Wine Rating Guide, which is Spain’s equivalent to Robert Parker ratings. We have worked with Walgreens in order to bring this savory wine to the United States at an affordable price.”

 

In April Paddington launched both a syrah/garnacha and a tempranillo/cabernet blend in more than 4,000 Walgreens stores. The wines, priced at $5.99 a bottle in most states, have become one of the drugstore chain’s top selling imported wine brands.

 

“Agostón is a great addition to Walgreens wine selection as our first Spanish wine,” said Dex McCreary, Walgreens divisional merchandise manager. “We look forward to working with Paddington Brands to promote this brand and make this quality import a success.”

 

Agoston Garnacha & Syrah

“We were immediately impressed with the knowledge, drive and ‘can do’ approach of the entire Paddington team,” said Jose Maria Andres, CEO of Bodegas Virgen del Aguila co-operative. “We are proud to work with Paddington to launch this wine with such an important retailer like Walgreens, a company that will advance the development of the Agostón brand.”

 

About Agostón

Agostón is named after the wild Spanish boar and is made by the Bodegas Virgen del Aguila co-operative. Located in the great wine-producing area of northern Spain we´re lucky to have a climate and terroir ideal for making quality wines full of character. Here we have 2,200 hectares of vines, planted with a good range of grape varieties, including the native Tempranillos and Garnachas, as well as international varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Our oldest vines date from the year 1906 and help create wines of superb intensity, such as our Agostón range.

 

Our vineyards are located in the scenic foothills of the Ibérico mountain range and we have a wide variety of landscapes and eco-systems within our demarcated area. Under half of our land is taken up by vines, the rest being undisturbed areas of rocky outcrops and forested mountain slopes, dry river beds, wild-flower margins and old almond groves. This makes it and its surrounding area a zone of high biodiversity and an ideal wildlife haven, something that we’re committed to safe-guarding.  The winery produces close to 10 million litres of wine a year, with a full range of styles, including young fresh whites and rosés, intense aromatic reds and complex oak-aged “Crianzas” and “Reservas”. The winery is modern, and fully equipped and the underground maturation cellars have 13,000 oak barrels.  

 

 

 

 

About Paddington Brands
Paddington Brands (www.Paddingtonbrands.com) manages a portfolio of owned and agency premiere import & craft beers, artisanal spirits and fine wines.  Paddington’s team and partners have extensive experience in the global beverage and consumer packaged goods industries. Paddington owns the Napa Smith Brewery & Winery and 3 Amigos Tequila.  Paddington is headquartered in Metro-Indianapolis, IN, with offices in the United Kingdom and Napa, CA and a sales team covering the U.S. market and select international markets. Join us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paddington-Brands/220043258012149 and Follow us on Twitter @Paddingtonbrands

 

About Walgreens

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2010 sales of $67 billion. The company operates 7,733 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

The Paddington Corp Announces Merger With Pelican Brands

Pleased to share this announcement – Paddington Corp Merges with Pelican Brands forming Paddington Brands, LLC

 

FOR RELEASE June 23, 2011

Media contact:

Heather Carden

001-317-574-6408

 

 

 

 

The Paddington Corp Announces Merger With Pelican Brands

Indianapolis, IN USA – June 23, 2011 – The Paddington Corporation today announced the completion of a merger with Pelican Brands, LLC.  The combined company will be known as Paddington Brands, LLC.  Paddington is based in Carmel, IN and also has offices in Napa, CA and 3rd party warehousing in NJ and CA. Paddington owns Tequila 3 Amigos, the Napa Smith Brewery & Winery, and is the exclusive Importer and U.S. sales agent for a prestigious portfolio of wine and spirit brands.

Since January, Paddington, through outside investors, has injected nearly $1 million into the business to expand Napa Smith Beer and Tequila 3 Amigos in multiple markets throughout the US.  The Company is committed to rolling out both brands nationally in 2011.

J. Smoke Wallin, Chairman & CEO of Paddington Brands said, “Paddington understands what today’s consumer wants– authentic, hand crafted brands with a great taste.  Our team has deep industry knowledge of the distribution and retail tiers of the business providing a rapid national route-to-market in all segments of beverage alcohol.”

Our Brands

  • Napa Smith Brewery & Winery: Napa Smith Beer, now available in 32 states, is a unique brand that brings the best of Napa Valley in quality and lifestyle to the fastest growing segment of the beverage industry, Craft Beer.  Our brew master, Don Barkley, has been brewing amazing craft beers since 1979. Napa Smith Winery has produced award-winning wines in the past three years and is sold primarily in the Western U.S.
  • Tequila 3 Amigos: Paddington’s partner in Tequila 3 Amigos is the Gonzalez family of Arizona and Mexico, where they have grown agave for generations. Paddington has announced partnerships for  Tequila 3 Amigos with major NASCAR venues including Talladega, Phoenix International Raceway, California’s Auto Club Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Kansas, and Michigan International Speedways.  Tequila 3 Amigos has had three named races in the past year including the 3 Amigos Tequila Talladega 250 ARCA race in April. The Company expects Tequila 3 Amigos to be distributed in over 25 states by year-end.
  • Chase Distillery: Paddington also imports the Herefordshire, UK-based Chase Distillery’s Chase Vodka and Elderflower Liqueur and has launched it in ten states in the U.S..
  • Paddington Wines: Since January 2011, Paddington has sold Agostón Wines from Spain into 4,085 Walgreens stores in thirty-one states. Agostón has also consistently received 90+ points in the Penin Wine Rating Guide.  Paddington Brands also represents: Calatrasi from Italy, award-winning Gemtree from McLaren Vale Australia, and Brent Marris’s newest venture, Marisco Wines – The Kings Series and The Ned.

Wallin continued, “The new Paddington Brands is an exciting company that aligns an extremely talented group of industry leaders with explosive growth brands. We plan to build on our momentum as a brand investor and incubator.  We are also continuing to selectively and opportunistically make acquisitions providing us additional scale.”

About Paddington

 

The Paddington Corp. was built upon a rich tradition of some of the industry’s greatest brands.  In 1937, Charles Guttman founded the original Paddington Corporation, which became the exclusive importer of Justerini & Brooks Ltd. (J&B) scotch, and a very successful creator of brands including Bailey’s Irish Cream.  Paddington was acquired by several large conglomerates in the 1960s – 1980s and eventually became a division of Diageo, the worlds largest spirits company.  Diageo later folded the Paddington entity into its larger North American sales force and it has remained dormant until now.  The new Paddington Brands, LLC, though a completely independent and unaffiliated company, draws on this rich tradition of building brands over the long term that Charles Guttman started so many years ago.

Paddington is headquartered in Carmel, IN, with offices in the United Kingdom and Napa, CA and a sales team covering the U.S. market and select international markets. Paddington is actively seeking acquisitions in the wine, spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverage space.   Follow us on Facebook http://on.fb.me/afmdBU and on Twitter @paddingtonbrands and on the web at www.paddingtonbrands.com

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