On Tuesday the International Olympic Committee held a press conference in Switzerland and announced that wrestling has been dropped from the 2020 Olympics. Wrestling can "re-apply" later this year, but the sport will now compete with seven others (baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu) for one spot in the 2020 games.
The IOC executive board will meet in May in St. Petersburg, Russia, to decide which sport or sports to propose for 2020 inclusion. The final vote will be made at the IOC session, or general assembly, in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is extremely unlikely that wrestling would be voted back in so soon after being removed by the executive board.
And look, I won't pretend to care about wrestling even a little bit. But as an outsider who doesn't really care about the Olympics, either, it seems a little ridiculous that the oldest athletic competition in the world is allowed to just randomly decide to drop one of the oldest sports in the world.
It's ridiculous for a lot of reasons, but mostly because centuries of history and historic events are the biggest thing separating the Olympics from the X-Games.
Plus, look at the events they kept:
- BMX cycling
- Mountain biking
- Men's field hockey
- Men's and women's indoor volleyball
- Rhythmic gymnastics
- 14 different canoeing events
- Table tennis
- Team table tennis
- Equestirian "Eventing"
No sport on earth is dumber than dressage.
Some of those are different "disciplines" that fall under the same "event" umbrella, but still. They could have cut the horses, ping pong, HGH-sponsored cycling. Or maybe Modern Pentathlon, which is two weeks of the Summer Olympics thrown into a blender:
- "Modern pentathlon contained five events [in 2012]; pistol shooting, épée fencing, 200 m freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a 3 km cross-country run."
But yeah, the IOC somehow cut wrestling, at least for now. There will be no more Rulon Gardner moments, or Russian Bear, or anything. The Olympics need to make room for wakeboarding. Or maybe wushu or sport climbing. Anyway, you don't have to care about wrestling, but you gotta admit: It's pretty perfect the IOC would deliberate about all this in Switzerland and somehow decide to cut the 15,000 year-old sport so that they could keep ping pong and dressage and everything else. This is the Modern Olympics, and the only thing more ridiculous than 90 percent of the events are the people who organize them.