In 2020 Olympic wrestling will be dropped from the summer games according to the International Olympic Committee. The reason officials are removing the more than 2,000 year-old sport is because of a shift in Olympic priorities. According to sources published by The New York Times, “Olympic officials are seeking to add more telegenic sports and more widely visible stars.” They hope to gain broader and younger audience. The Olympic committee executives reportedly made the decision Tuesday; however, the decision could be reversed as soon as May due to the fact that a 26th sport is needed to replace it. The final decision will be made in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as late as September.
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles is trying to fight against this decision. They are currently at work with the IOC, trying to convince them to keep wrestling in the Olympics. A Russian wrestling federation leader, who is a board member of the IOC, said that FILA appears to be part of the problem. According to reports from The Washington Post, the former president of FILA, Raphael Marinetti, has been accused of not doing enough when presenting his case to the IOC.
Greco-Roman and freestyle have been around since 708 B.C and played in the Olympics since then. It’s also one of the first sports to appear in the Olympics as well as being one the few sports that only requires the use of the human body when competing.
Well known WWE wrestler Bret Hart posted on Facebook saying, “Wrestling is simply what true sport is all about. If the IOC drops it, I vow to never waste my time watching ribbon gymnastics and dressage. The Olympics will be dead to me. What a travesty.”
Wrestling fan, Marine and aspiring martial arts fighter Robbie Wessells said that he will not be watching the Olympics in 2020 if wrestling is not a part of it. Normajean Swidarski said that wrestling has become full of antics due to the WWE commercialization and that claims that it isn’t “real.” There’s a vast majority of people who are against wrestling. However, there’s an even greater majority of those who don’t care at all about wresting and will watch the Olympics either way.
The sports that could replace wrestling include wakeboarding, roller skating, and others as well. Fans of either sport will just have to sit back and see.