The Olympics- one can almost imagine being in ancient Greece with the regions finest athletes representing their homelands in a grand spectacle of running, jumping and wrestling. Oh wait, Wrestling will no longer be an Olympic event. Seriously.
As of 2020, the Olympics is scheduled to eliminate Wrestling from the roster of sports to be included in the Olympic games. This is a real head-scratcher for just about everyone, whether or not one participates in combat sports. It’s hard to fathom a more pure sport or one that more encompasses the ‘Olympic’ spirit than the ancient sport of wrestling (part of the Olympics since 708 B.C.).
Apparently, Wrestling is the victim of an aggressive lobby effort to keep the Pentathlon (a sport that involves running, shooting, swimming and horseback riding) in the games. A few reasons are cited for it’s possible exclusion but none of them make sense as the same criticisms can be applied to several other (less popular) Olympic events. To leave wrestling out and leave other more esoteric sports is a slap in the face to hard working athletes everywhere.
However, there is a glimmer of hope. The decision is not yet ‘final’ as there is another step or two in order to kick out the sport that comprises one of the pillars of Olympic competition. Petitions are all over Facebook and other social media along with many sites in the combat sports world.
Wrestling is not only one of the finest sports to develop pure athletic skill but provides a great way for our youth to build discipline and self protection skill (and you don’t need a horse to practice it either). I hope the tide of backlash will save this iconic sport from this ridiculous turn of events.
Darryl operates American Fortitude Martial Arts Center in Santee