Olympics Moves to Drop Wrestling in 2020
By JERÉ LONGMAN
Wrestling, one of the most ancient and elemental Olympic sports, was removed from the Summer Games in a stunning and widely criticized decision Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee.
Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling will be contested at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but they will be excluded from the 2020 Summer Games, which have not yet been awarded, the I.O.C. said Tuesday.
There is a chance that the Olympic committee can change its mind at a meeting in May, when it considers the 26th sport to add to the 2020 Games, but wrestling’s future seems doubtful at the moment, according to veteran observers of the Games.
Tuesday’s decision to drop wrestling was made by secret ballot by the Olympic committee’s executive board at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Reasons for the decision were not given in precise detail.
In recent years, however, the I.O.C. has expressed concern about the growing size of the Summer Games and has wanted to cap the number of athletes at about 10,500. It has also said it wants to draw younger viewers among the international television audience. Among the sports that wrestling must compete with for future inclusion in the Games are climbing and wakeboarding. The I.O.C. may have also grown frustrated that Greco-Roman wrestling did not have any events for women, experts said. Women began participating in freestyle wrestling at the 2004 Athens Games.
Surviving Tuesday’s vote was modern pentathlon, a threatened and less popular sport than wrestling, but one that was invented by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Games, and supported by the son of former I.O.C. president Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Mark Adams, a spokesman for the I.O.C., told reporters in Lausanne that “this is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics.” He added: “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”
But the dropping of wrestling surprised many.
“I think this is a really stupid decision,” the Olympic historian David Wallechinsky said. “It was in the ancient Olympics. It has been in the modern Olympics since 1896. In London, 29 different countries won medals. This is a popular sport.”
The NRA would never let them drop Modern Pentathlon.
His Most Exalted Excellency, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Juan Antonio Samaranch has his stinky fingers in a lot of pies.
A very stupid decision.
Omg. How idiotic, wresting is one of the most Olympic sports out there.
I suppose beach volleyball remains?
So horse-dancing is an Olympic sport, but wrestling isn't?
If this is actually happening, the olympics is over. Period. It's aleady become contrived. Turning into the Corporate reality show called "Extreme Competitions; Olympic Style" with the purchased competitors from various bought countries.
The sponsorship landscape must look really good for wakeboarding and climbing.
Well, at least this starts to clear the path for the introduction of the video-game competition.
Notice how the corporate-aired olympics hardly covers the most traditional Olympic competitions, only the wacky fringe shit anyway. It's like everything else in this awful money-before-all-else world of shit encrusted corporate assholes.
Wrestling is a clean, disciplined sport. It's primal and the most physical of sports, but technique and strategy are key. It's great for character and confidence building in kids. What a stupid decision.
Wrestling doesn't involve any equipment and therefore nobody can make money off it. Duh.
Sometimes you guys don't see the forest for the trees. R10 sees it but it put rather obliquely.
I'll bet they start chopping events from track and field next.
They dropped baseball because it is a North and Latin American sport. Also played in Japan but I assume not popular elsewhere.
How popular is wrestling outside the US?
How about a DL sponsored international wrestling competition right here in the US? What could we provide as prizes for winning?
Wresting is very popular world-wide.
Probably is homophobia.
The IOC are fascist bigots.
I would love to see DL dudes wrestling in their caftans.
Wrestling was dropped by secret ballot. It is possible that the decision could be reversed in May when they vote on the 26th sport.
The committee wants to contain the number of participants fearing the Olympics have gown too large. Wrestling is an amateur sport, no professional participants, no profits and no super stars. I think the no super star provision is key here. They have to pay for this ever increasing shit over hyped profit making shit.
I would prefer amateur Olympics but that was abandoned because of all the cheating from the Eastern Bloc in particular and inability to monitor.
This is an inapprpriate and unwarranted decision by the IOC. Part of the Olympics is to honor history and the roots of the Olympics. Wrestling has been part of the Games since ancient times. It should be preserved.
I sense a New Coke/Classic Coke-style controversy looming: new Olympics, old Olympics...
Of course the Coca Cola Company eventually dropped New Coke and just quietly changed their Classic Coke recipe to their HFCS New Coke formula anyway. Hah! Gotcha suckers!
Olympic wrestling is doomed, if not now then later.
As long as they keep rhythmic gymnastics!
Outside the US, wrestling is popular in Muslim countries, particularly in the Middle East, as well as Turkey. And Eastern Europe. Elsewhere, it's not popular at all.
Just make it nude wrestling and televise it on HBO.
The horse people are expecting the equestrian events to be dropped. Their events are very expensive to stage, and don't deliver TV ratings.
R25 Neigh, neigh!
I'm sure Ralfalca and I helped the Olympic ratings.
Medal-less Lady MacRomney
I've no doubt NBC and other international networks grea$ed the palms of the corrupt IOC to make this happen. There is going to be a backlash and they'll have to reinstate wrestling. It might get poor ratings, but wrestling is fundamental to the Olympic games.
And you can't tell me more people are going to tune in just because they add wakeboarding.
R23, India as well, so there's a huge chunk of humankind all told.
Wrestling is one of the seminal Olympic sports. It's impossible to think someone(s) could be so boneheaded as to consider dropping it.
we've known they've been corrupt for years but this is the ultimate: doing away with one of the historic sports because they can't make money from it. Whores, all of them.
I found having to observe penised-persons and their flopping junk offensive so I petitioned the Olympic Committee to have wrestling removed. Score ONE for me and my fellow womyn.
Maybe they could revive the "Set An Old Crone On Fire" competition for Nan, to bring back that medieval flavor often missing from the Olympics.
This wrestling news moved the Pope to the back burner.
Drop the equestrian events unless you're going to start giving medals to the horses.
I miss baseball. :/
If they want ratings, they should take wrestling back to its origins, and make the players wrestle nude like they did in the ancient games.
Who's with me?
[quote]The I.O.C. may have also grown frustrated that Greco-Roman wrestling did not have any events for women,
Rhythmic gymnastics is women only, no men.
Synchronized swimming is women only, no men.
R28, they don't just stage the Olympics for the shit coverage you get in the States. Every country in the world watches.
and yet bmx biking, beach volleyball, and table tennis remains?
One of the most important events in the ancient Olympic Games was equestrian - chariot-racing.
Someone told me that there is a big lobby to have Baton Twirling added as an Olympic Event.
Should all be dropped.
[quote]Wrestling is a clean, disciplined sport. It's primal and the most physical of sports, but technique and strategy are key. It's great for character and confidence building in kids. What a stupid decision.
Says someone who knows NOTHING about the reality of cutting weight in wrestling.
Haha, cutting weight in wresting is small potatoes.
tae kwon do also needs to be dropped. wrestling is way more combative then that.
[quote]tae kwon do also needs to be dropped. wrestling is way more combative then that.
There are also more interesting martial arts, which I'd watch, than Taekwondo and Judo. I don't really care much about wrestling or boxing, either.
Yes, R37, and all of those international networks also want big ratings. What is your point?
A news report on NPR this morning said that Turkey is making major objections to the dropping of wrestling.
A gay conspiracy is responsible for the vote to remove wrestling from the Olympics, according to this nutjob.