From the Stands

The International Olympic Committee makes a controversial decision to eliminate wrestling from future Olympics effective in 2020.

By Whitney Becker, Sports Editor

If you’re a wrestling fan, you might be considering grabbing your pitchforks and torches in protest, in honor of the ancient Greeks.

For those of you that have been left in the dark, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has stirred quite the debate as they have decided to remove wrestling from the Summer Olympics starting in 2020.

This came as a shock to many considering that wrestling had its ties to the ancient Greek games and has been a part of the Olympics since the year 1896.  Many consider it the second oldest competitive sport, beaten only by track and field.

But wrestling is not the first sport to get the boot from the IOC.  Baseball and softball were dropped as Olympic sports after the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing and have been trying hard to regain their spot in  the Olympics.

Wrestling will also face opposition from recently emerging sports that are trying to gain access to the Games such as karate, squash, roller sports, sports climbing and many others.

Many are surprised that sports such as the pentathlon were not cut from the games before the historic sport of wrestling.

There is much speculation as to how the IOC reached its decision.  Some believe that the IOC was concerned about its fan-base, others believe it was a political act, and still others believe the IOC was frustrated by the lack of inclusion of women in the sport.  The IOC has also expressed concern about the growing number of athletes and sports that participate in the games.

While there is a chance of reversal of this decision if the committee decides to add a twenty-sixth sport to the Summer Olympics, the future of wrestling as an Olympic sport is looking grim.

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