By now we all know wrestling was dropped from the Olympic line-up for the 2020 games, but do we all know why? And is the explanation even strong enough to defeat the toughest athletes in the world?
The IOC decided to drop wrestling from the Olympics after voting (on) and evaluating several pieces of criteria, 39 to be exact, and the sport was graded on each. Some of the criteria included: TV Ratings, ticket sales, and global participation and popularity. When the grading was completed, wrestling was low in every category. Wrestling was then compared to the Pentathlon—the two sports battled for the the 25th position in the 2020 Olympic lineup. And we all know, the Pentathon won. The IOC found the wrestling rankings low in many of the criteria, but it was also low in the Pentathlon. So why is this?
Wrestling had some bigger issues. FILA, International Federation of Associated Wrestling , doesn’t have any athletes on it’s decision making boards, no women in authoritative positions, and no medical official on its executive board. There is criteria that FILA doesn’t meet, and this seems to be a clear message that they must make change.
So what’s going to happen? What we have here is a match between the International Olympic Committee and FILA. We have a match between two world powers. We have the IOC, one of the most popular and longest standing organizations in the world holding together the most popular sporting event in history. And the most elite, mentally strong, physically strong, and (arguably) the hardest working athletes in the world, wrestlers. It’s a war. And so far, the IOC is winning–but not without an overtime match that will determine the true outcome for the 2020 Olympics. Wrestlers are relentless, the IOC knew that this wouldn’t go over smoothly.
Wrestlers always find a way to get points in the last 30 seconds to tie the match. There’s a good chance FILA will win in overtime.