Wrestling Dropped from the OlympicsWednesday, February 13, 2013 23:40
Tis shameful that the International Olympic Committee has dropped wrestling from the 2020 Olympics.
The IOC should be ashamed of itself.
Dropping wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games is low even amongst the questionable decisions made by that organization. In order to make room under the IOC’s self-imposed limit of 25 “core sports” after the addition of golf and rugby, some sport had to be dropped. Wrestling received the axe.
The IOC could not have made a worse choice:
- Wrestling is not only one of the original sports of the modern Olympics, but one of the few sports that harkens back to the ancient Hellenic games.
- Wrestling is one of the most widely competed sports in terms of countries involved and the national sport of several. In London 29 countries won medals in the sport.
- The Olympics are the showcase event for sports such as wrestling. Golf, on the other hand, has the Masters, the US and British Opens, the PGA Championship, etc. While the Olympics are niceties for golfers, the Games are not the end-all and be-all for them as they are for wrestlers.
- In dropping wrestling from the Olympics the IOC has crushed the dreams and efforts of athletes who have been working toward the Games for years.
Ultimately–like so many other decisions involving sports–the IOC was driven by TV sports money. Golf (and rugby, though not admittedly in the US) have huge fan bases and television audiences that will be more likely to tune-in and drive up rights negotiations than does wrestling.
Plain and simple, the International Olympic Committee sold out again.
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