Wrestling eliminated from the Olympics
February 12, 2013
Yahoo! Sports reports that the International Olympic Committee has cut wrestling from the Summer Olympics. Wrestling will be removed from the 2020 Olympics as an effort to “streamline” the games.
Wrestling, and not the modern pentathlon, will be removed from the 25 core sports. The move occurred via secret ballot amongst IOC leaders.
Via the Associated Press via Yahoo!:
The board voted after reviewing a report by the IOC program commission report that analyzed 39 criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member board was also subject to political, emotional and sentimental factors.
Wrestling, along with baseball, softball, karate and five other sports will now have to apply for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.
While the move does not directly affect the world of MMA, it’s easy to see that the sport has roots in amateur wrestling. One can think of the many successful fighters coming out of an amateur wrestling program. Without wrestling in the Olympics, many individuals may not take up the sport as competing in the Olympics is one of the main goals in an amateur wrestler’s career. For the sport of MMA, this could mean fewer individuals with a great background in wrestling. This could mean that more MMA gyms teach the sport to aspiring fighters.