The International Olympic Committee announced its decision to cut wrestling from its list of core sports for the 2020 Olympics this week. The decision was made in order to cut the 26 core sports to 25 and make room for another competition.
The decision comes as a shock to most wrestling fans because there were no indications suggesteing wrestling was even on the chopping block.
"This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams in an AP report. "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.”
Cutting wrestling has gotten strong support from those people who like badminton, the modern pentathlon and horse dancing (dressage), because it means their sport is likely safe for the 2020 games.
Saints wrestling Head Coach Gene Hildebrandt ‘s first reaction was that, "They (the Olympic committee) will probably save tiddlywinks as an Olympic sport." He was surprised because eliminating wrestling, which he noted was the original Olympic sport, hadn't been brought up. He expects a big uproar from the wrestling community.
This uproar has already been seen in the social media world with tweets of anger being expressed toward the IOC and their decision:
“And considering its a sport that was participated in since the Ancient Olympics, its against the spirit of the Games itself to drop it.”
“Wrestling is the Olympics. It's the toughest, more grueling, most demanding and most humbling sport there is."
“They got rid of wrestling in the olympics but they still have ribbon dancing? #thisismadness”
“Wrestling out of the Olympics? Possible replacements include squash, karate, climbing but my vote is for speed skating...inline!!”
“Wrestling cut from the olympics, I bet Iowa is pissed.”
The decision to cut wrestling from the Olympic programming seems to be one to make the games more mainstream and viewer-friendly. However, in an area such as St. James the decision will isolate viewers who would have normally watched the event.
Furthermore, wrestling was not the least watched sport in the latest Olympic games and it has a wide variety of countries that medal in it frequently, including USA, Iran and Russia – with FILA having 177 member nations. Wrestling has been a part of the Olympic games since the first modern Olympic games, and was also a sport of the ancient Olympic games.
Wrestling will join baseball and softball as the most recent sports cut from the Olympic games. Wrestling will still be included in the 2016 games in Rio De Janeiro and will join seven other sports in applying for a single opening in the 2020 games, but according to reports by ESPN, it is extremely unlikely that it would be voted back in so soon after being removed by the executive board.
Page 2 of 2 - The final vote will be made at the IOC session, in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Petitions are already circling the internet to overturn this decision.