Why Was Wrestling Removed From the Olympics?By Coder| August 30, 2023 Wrestling Wrestling, an ancient sport with roots in numerous civilizations, has been a staple of the Olympic Games for over a century. However, to the surprise of many, wrestling was temporarily removed from the Olympic program in 2013. This decision sent shockwaves through the sporting community and led to widespread debate and speculation. The Shocking Decision In February 2013, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board announced that wrestling would be dropped from the list of core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games. This unexpected decision caught many by surprise, as wrestling had been a part of every modern Olympic Games since their inception in 1896. The Reasons Behind the Removal Several factors contributed to the IOC’s decision to remove wrestling from the Olympics. One primary reason cited was a decline in global participation and viewership. Wrestling was seen as less popular compared to other sports such as soccer or basketball. Furthermore, critics argued that wrestling lacked universality and gender equality. The sport featured predominantly male athletes, with women’s participation being limited in some regions. This imbalance went against the IOC’s commitment to promoting equal opportunities for all athletes. Competition from Other Sports Another factor considered by the IOC was competition from emerging sports seeking inclusion in the Olympic program. Various sports lobbied for inclusion, presenting themselves as more engaging or appealing to younger audiences. The IOC faced pressure to modernize and adapt to changing sports landscapes. As a result, they sought new additions that would attract larger audiences and align with contemporary trends. The Wrestling Community Responds The removal of wrestling sparked outrage within the global wrestling community. Wrestlers and supporters alike rallied together to save their beloved sport. Protests: Numerous wrestling organizations, athletes, and fans organized protests and demonstrations worldwide. They voiced their displeasure at the sport’s exclusion and highlighted its historical significance. Modernize the Sport: Wrestling’s governing bodies recognized the need for innovation and modernization. They implemented new rules to make the sport more spectator-friendly and attractive to a wider audience. Reinstatement Efforts: The wrestling community launched extensive campaigns to convince the IOC that wrestling deserved a place in the Olympic program. These efforts included showcasing the sport’s rich history, global appeal, and potential for growth. The Return of Wrestling The perseverance of the wrestling community paid off. In September 2013, just seven months after its removal, wrestling was reinstated as a core sport for the 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC acknowledged the overwhelming support from wrestlers, fans, and governing bodies worldwide. They recognized wrestling’s historical significance, its universality across cultures, and its potential for growth with necessary adaptations. A Lesson Learned The temporary removal of wrestling from the Olympic program served as a wake-up call for both traditional sports and newer sports seeking inclusion. It highlighted the importance of staying relevant in an ever-changing sporting landscape. Ultimately, this episode led to positive changes within wrestling itself. The sport embraced innovation while preserving its rich heritage. It now stands as a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the power of collective action. In conclusion, while wrestling’s brief removal from the Olympics raised eyebrows around the world, it ultimately served as a catalyst for positive change within both traditional sports organizations and within wrestling itself.