In February the International Olympic Committee made headlines when they recommended that wrestling be dropped from the 26 core sports of the Olympics for the 2020 games. The committee determined that the rules needed to be easier to understand and that the sport needed to hire more women in management, stipulations aimed at broadening the sport’s appeal.
Since then FILA, the wrestling’s international governing body, has worked to reform the sport and will be presenting its new look to the IOC executive board this week. IOC President Jacques Rogge told the AP in an interview that FILA has made productive changes to give it a chance to remain in the Olympics, but as of now it is still competing with 7 other sports - karate, sport climbing, squash, roller sports, wakeboarding, Wushu (Chinese martial art) and baseball/softball - for just one spot to remain a part of the Games.
The IOC’s recommendation to put wrestling on the chopping block offended many people, not just wrestling fans, because the sport was part of the ancient games and feels essential to the spirit of the Olympics. But the IOC has made an effort in recent to modernize the Games, and if no one is watching wrestling, then shouldn’t the committee make room for a new sport?
Elliott Almond, Sports Writer for the San Jose Mercury News