Wrestling Voted Out of 2020 Games
Wrestling will not be featured at the 2020 Olympics. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) voted to drop the sport from the 2020 event in a meeting on Tuesday.
The IOC reviewed 26 sports on the current Olympic program, and voted to eliminate one in order to add a new sport which will be revealed later this year. The 15-member board based their decision on various criteria such as television ratings, ticket sales, the presence of performance enhancing drugs and worldwide recognition.
It came down to either wrestling or the modern pentathlon, and even though the latter is clearly the more dangerous of the two (it involves horseback riding and shooting), the majority voted that wrestling should not be included as an Olympic sport in the 2020 games.
Advocates for Wrestling can still apply for its inclusion in the 2020 Olympics, but will have to compete with the 7 other sports also seeking the same slot: Baseball/Softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.
The IOC will meet again in May in St. Petersburg, Russia determine which sports will be approved and which will be left out.
Wrestling's relationship with the UFC runs deep to say the least, as several collegiate and Olympic wrestlers have influenced the inclusion of this legendary art of grappling into MMA competition. Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier are just a few of the MMA superstars who perfected their craft as members of America's Olympic wrestling program.
With so many MMA standouts first making a name for themselves as wrestlers, it's safe to say that a fair number of UFC followers actively devote attention to Olympic wrestling. This decision is a travesty in the eyes of the hardcore fanbase, and one can only hope that the IOC realizes the error of their ways and re-instates wrestling as an Olympic sport in 2020.