Wrestling Dropped from the Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) opted to keep the pentathlon and remove wrestling from it’s list of Olympic events. It’s a surprising move, considering wrestling is one of the oldest Olympic sports. The board reviewed 26 sports currently on the Olympic program and by eliminating one it allows for a new sport to be added to the program.

Wrestling joins baseball, softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu for a single spot in the 2020 Olympics. Considering the removal it’s highly unlikely that wrestling would be voted into the mix. In 2005, the IOC removed baseball and softball. Rugby and Golf will be part of the 2016 Olympics games.

AP Sports writer, Stephen Wilson writes…

The IOC program commission report analyzed more than three dozen 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.

Previously considered under the closest scrutiny was modern pentathlon, which has been on the Olympic program since the 1912 Stockholm Games. It was created by French baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement.

Modern pentathlon combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting—the five skills required of a 19th century cavalry officer. The sport’s governing body, the UIPM, has been lobbying hard to protect its Olympic status, and the efforts apparently paid off.

Women’s Wrestling was added to the Olympics at the 2004 Athens Games.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – IOC leaders have dropped wrestling for the 2020 Games in a surprise decision to scrap one of the oldest sports on the Olympic program.

The IOC executive board decided Tuesday to retain modern pentathlon – the event considered most at risk – and remove wrestling instead from its list of core sports.

The decision, announced by the IOC, was first reported by The Associated Press.

The IOC board acted after reviewing the 26 sports on the current Olympic program. Eliminating one sport allows the International Olympic Committee to add a new sport to the program later this year.

Wrestling, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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