IOC Welcomes Wrestling Back!
September 10, 2013 – After meeting in Buenos Aires on Sunday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to keep wresting in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
In February the IOC shocked everyone when it cut wrestling from the list of the 2020 and 2024 Games' core sports. For the last six months the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) campaigned for the IOC to change its mind, which worked.
Sunday's vote was between keeping wrestling in the Games or adding baseball-softball or squash. Representatives for all three sports anxiously made presentations to the committee about why their sport should be allowed in the Games. FILA President Nenad Lalovic called the presentation date "the most important day in the 2,000-year history of our sport."
In the end wrestling won back their spot with 49 votes. Baseball-softball got 24 votes and squash got 22.
Wrestling has been a part of the Olympics every single year except 1900 since the games started in 1896, which is why the decision to get rid of it surprised so many people.
To make itself more modern FILA gave female wrestlers a role in decision making, added two weight classes for women, and changed some rules to make it easier and more fun to watch. "Wrestling is not a new sport," said Lalovic. "But the wrestling we are presenting now is a new wrestling."
IOC President Jacques Rogge explained that they won the vote because they "[have] shown great passion and resilience in the last few months" and "have taken a number of steps to modernize and improve their sport."
In the future, instead of just suddenly getting rid of sports, the IOC will try to tweak their process for adding and getting rid of sports to make sure there's enough room for as many athletes as possible while still staying under the cap of 10,500 athletes. "I think what will happen is we will take away some of the events from some sports in order to put a couple of new sports in," said Gerhard Heiberg, a member of the IOC.
Do you think wrestling should have stayed out of the Games, or that it never should have been cut out in the first place?