|“Olympic champion in classic wrestling, 57kg division, Shamil Serikov and silver medalist of the 1980 Olympiad Jozef Lipien” Photo by Vladimir Rodionov / Владимир Родионов|
So the IOC has decided to preliminarily remove Wrestling as of the 2020 games, giving Wrestling a chance to be reconsidered along with other sports such as Wakeboarding, Wushu, and Squash. While I am as baffled and shocked as most of the wrestling community, I for one am grateful. Not grateful that Wrestling was cut, grateful that we at least have a chance to rise up and make a case for why wrestling belongs in the Olympics.
If you aren't sure about why wrestling should stay let me give you just a few reasons.
- The ratio of combat sports to non-combat is very low. (See my fancy visual aid below) so for the combat enthusiast there is little of interest in the body of Olympic sports. What there is besides wrestling i.e Judo, Fencing, Taekwondo, and Boxing don't tend to get as much coverage as their non-combative counterparts.
- From a competitor point of view, if you're a combat athlete you're hopes of being in the Olympics are greatly reduced on a percentage basis due to the loss of wrestling. Furthermore, in my opinion, to remove wrestling, which is the cornerstone of combative Olympic sports, paves a way to removing all combative sports.
- Finally, in a time and climate when combat sports are on a major upswing cutting wrestling will likely damage the viewership and therefore the profits of the Olympics. Not only would losing wrestling be bad for the hundreds of competitors no longer able to compete, but also for their training organizations, corporate sponsors, and their legions of fans. In the long run cutting Olympic Wrestling just doesn't make sense.
I recommend everyone show their support on the change.org petition, and like the Facebook support page. But don't stop there, make your case to friends and family. Share, tweet, +one, email, and blast the message that we want wrestling, and combat sports to stay a major part of the Olympics.