Very disappointing news for sports in general, as the IOC (aka the International Olympic Committee) announced for some bizarre reason, that wrestling has been dropped from the 2020 Olympic Games, in order to make way for a new sport.
The wrestling event, which is a sort of mixture of Greco-Roman wrestling and Freestyle wrestling into one, has been a sport at the Olympics since the beginning. The first official Olympic games in 1896 at Athens featured wrestling. And why? Because, it was one of man’s first forms of combat. It was a true test of how much of an athlete you are. It separates the weak from the strong. It was a sport of kings for crying out loud. I mean, King Henry VIII of England challenged Francis I of France to a wrestling match, in order to prove his superiority over the French king. That’s how important to society wrestling used to be.
I really do like amateur wrestling. I mean, as readers of this blog already know, I’m a major professional wrestling fan. And that stemmed from the foundations set by the real-life wrestling sport years ago. So, I’m a little upset by this development. I mean, I enjoyed the wrestling that was present in the Olympics in London.
I mean, let’s look at the list of sports that could replace it:
- Sport Climbing
- And…. Roller Sports
OK, first of all, if Baseball is put in the Olympics in 2020, I will seriously flip. There are quite a lot of sports that are more physically demanding than baseball. I mean, hitting a ball with bat and running around a field isn’t exactly difficult in comparison to an event like wrestling. Also, it’s not exactly globally that attractive of a sport. I mean, what countries actually take the event THAT seriously? The United States. Japan. China. Sure, countries like us would field out a last-ditch team, but no one with the exceptions of the Americans and the Japanese are gonna take that event seriously.
Karate or Wushu would be cool editions, I’ll admit. I enjoy them sports. I personally just wouldn’t have them over wrestling, because of how grand of a legacy in the Olympics wrestling has proved to be. Sport Climbing and Wakeboarding are OK, I guess. But as sports in an event as prestigious as the Olympics, I can’t take them seriously enough, as with the Squash. Roller sports? Really? Who comes up with these events?
OK, this post was not dedicated to ripping on a bunch of different sports, but more so to state the importance of wrestling to sport. The Olympics was designed to have countries challenge for bragging rights, and to see which countries were the best at the most demanding of sports. Wrestling is one of the oldest SPORTS ever, and there is still a great deal of pride on the line when wrestling. When you lose in something like football, you don’t lose that much as you always have guaranteed big-payout for each game you play, win or lose. When you wrestle and you are defeated, the humiliating thought of being beaten is evident after the bell rings. The emotion, winning or losing is clear. Take 1996, and Kurt Angle’s Gold Medal Win. Yes, he was crying as he was awarded the gold, but that’s what makes wrestling so great. Winning is everything. I bet you only a few countries in the Olympics sincerely cared about winning.
Point is, if wrestling is off the Olympic radar, than it’ll be a real shame for me, as amateur wrestling is also a major part of another favourite sport of mine… mixed martial arts. It’s also going to be a major shame for sport in general. A sport that has been part of more than 100-year history of the Olympics is about to leave us in replacement for a sport that couldn’t live up to the drama and the competition that wrestling provides.