Why Did They Remove Wrestling From the Olympics?By Coder| August 30, 2023 Wrestling Why Did They Remove Wrestling From the Olympics? Wrestling, a sport that has been part of the Olympic Games since its inception in 1896, was surprisingly removed from the core Olympic program by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2013. This decision sent shockwaves through the wrestling community and left many wondering why such a historic and traditional sport would be excluded. The Decision One of the main reasons behind the removal of wrestling from the Olympics was to modernize and refresh the sports program. The IOC aimed to attract a younger audience and increase global viewership by adding new sports that were more popular among young people. Competition for Spots The decision to exclude wrestling was also influenced by the intense competition for spots in the Olympic program. With limited spots available, various sports lobbied for inclusion, making it challenging for traditional sports like wrestling to secure their place. Lack of Global Appeal Another factor that played a role in wrestling’s removal was its perceived lack of global appeal. In some countries, wrestling is not as popular as other sports such as soccer or basketball. The IOC sought to prioritize sports with broader international participation and fan bases. Poor Television Ratings Television ratings also played a significant role in wrestling’s exclusion. The IOC considered viewer interest and TV ratings as essential criteria for determining which sports should be part of the Olympic program. Wrestling struggled to attract viewership compared to other sports like athletics or swimming. Reinstatement Efforts The decision to remove wrestling from the Olympics sparked outrage within the wrestling community worldwide. Wrestlers, coaches, fans, and even some prominent athletes from other sports voiced their disappointment over this exclusion. Recognizing the impact of this decision, wrestling’s governing body, the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), made significant efforts to reinstate the sport. They implemented changes to make it more appealing, such as modifying the rules, improving gender equality, and enhancing its presentation for television viewership. Reinstatement Success Fortunately for wrestling enthusiasts, these efforts paid off. In 2013, wrestling was placed on a shortlist of sports contending for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games. It faced strong competition from other sports like baseball/softball and squash. Wrestling ultimately triumphed over the others and secured its spot back in the Olympics. The IOC recognized wrestling’s historical significance, passionate global fan base, and its commitment to evolving with modern times. A New Era for Wrestling The removal and subsequent reinstatement of wrestling served as a wake-up call for the sport. It prompted wrestlers and administrators to reevaluate their approach and make necessary changes to ensure its continued relevance in modern sports culture. Today, wrestling has embraced new technologies, social media platforms, and innovative marketing strategies to engage with fans worldwide. It has also focused on promoting gender equality by actively supporting women’s wrestling at all levels. The Future of Wrestling in the Olympics The reinstatement of wrestling not only preserved its Olympic legacy but also opened opportunities for further growth and development. As we look ahead to future Olympic Games, there is optimism that wrestling will continue to evolve and captivate audiences worldwide through its rich history, intense competition, and enduring values of discipline and sportsmanship. In conclusion, wrestling, a sport dating back centuries, removed from the Olympics due to modernization efforts and lack of global appeal, efforts to reinstate the sport led to its successful comeback, with modifications to attract new audiences, wrestling’s future in the Olympics looks promising, as it adapts to the demands of a changing sports landscape. Wrestling’s journey serves as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of traditional sports in an era focused on innovation and change.