The International Olympic Committee voted Sunday to reinstate wrestling for the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympics. The IOC announced the decision on its official Twitter account:
According to Alan Abrahamson of 3 Wire Sports, wrestling received 49 votes in the first round of voting, more than doubling the votes for baseball/softball (24) and squash (22). The vote preserves Olympic wrestling through the 2024 Games.
The IOC voted to remove wrestling from the Games earlier this year. Supporters quickly rallied to save the sport, which has no professional league, but reinstatement was always considered an uphill battle.
The U.S. Olympic Team tweeted its approval:
Wrestling organizers have agreed to make changes to the sport, a sport as old as the Olympics itself, in order to boost television appeal. Those changes include the elimination of the traditional red mat, which did not look pleasing on television, and the addition of entrance music and visual effects.
Organizers of the "Save Olympic Wrestling" movement, such as gold medalist and legendary wrestling coach Dan Gable, were obviously happy with the outcome of the vote:
SUCCESS!!!! WRESTLING IS BACK ON THE OLYMPIC PROGRAM!!!!— KeepOlympicWrestling (@WrestlingVision) September 8, 2013
Wrestling is in the Olympics. Huge congrats to Dan and Kathy Gable!— Wright Thompson (@wrightthompson) September 8, 2013
Wrestling is in!— Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) September 8, 2013
SO HAPPY!!!! Now it's time to grow. Make our sport even better and stronger. No time to rest!! #ALLIN— Kevin Jackson (@CoachKJ_ISU) September 8, 2013