Wrestling considers makeover
May 15, 2013
MMA Junkie (via USA Today) reports that Olympic Wrestling will be undergoing an “MMA Makeover” in an attempt to reinsert the sport in the Olympics.
One of the major proposed changes is to do away with the traditional wrestling singlet in exchange for MMA-type fight shorts and a tight microfiber t-shirt or just going without a shirt. In addition, the sport’s leaders are contemplating staged weigh-ins, walkout music, lighting and video screen replays.
The Chairman for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling has met with Dana White and Bjorn Rebney about the presentation of the sport. The goal is to make the sport more marketable and appealing.
The proponents of preserving Olympic Wrestling are pulling out all the stops to return the sport to the Olympics. While rebranding and repackaging the sport to make it aesthetically pleasing will help, it still faces challenges with the essence of the sport. Frankly, its not an easy sport to understand if you were to just tune in. Educating the casual viewer of the sport is essential. Its also interesting to note that the showmanship and flash that is sometimes criticized as “poor sportsmanship” appear to be things that could help the sport become attractive to a wider audience.