I'd like to see someone from the International Olympic Committee watch that video, look into my eyes and tell me wrestling shouldn't be in the Olympics.
If you didn't know, the IOC's (15 person) executive board voted that wrestling should be removed from the Olympics beginning in 2020. It's now one of seven other sports -- baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sports climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu -- that are up for a final vote in May. One sport from those eight will be allowed in the Olympics.
The IOC said they looked at popularity, ticket sales, global participation, TV ratings and yada yada. They came out with a PR statement that's not worth your time because it said nothing. Oh, and there's this from ABC News:
"With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member board was also subject to political, emotional and sentimental factors."
Word. Sounds like how my fifth grade student council decided on where to put the new water fountains. I wonder if any of those 15 suits have ever traded their custom slacks for a sweatsuit, jump rope and a weigh-in time in 30 minutes? Or have ever had their hand raised after winning a match against another human being? Or done anything even close to the amount of profound dedication one needs to have to call himself/herself a wrestler?
At least they're making emotional and sentimental decisions, so that's good. More from ABC:
"Previously considered under the closest scrutiny was modern pentathlon...[which] combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting."
OK. Don't we have all of those as individual events anyway? Yes? Hmm. Odd. Haven't seen that on television lately. Back to ABC:
"Modern pentathlon also benefited from the work of Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the son of the former IOC president who is a UIPM [Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne] vice president and member of the IOC board."
Wait, what? You're kidding, right? I read that and expected a, "Ha, just kidding that wouldn't be fair at all," but it never came.
Unjust doesn't describe it. One of the most historical events is being eliminated for no reason. There are enough women wrestlers in the world who ruin the possibility of not enough participation. TV ratings? Give it a shot. You can't find another sport that produces the intense moment of pure, unfiltered joy that wrestling does when that final round sounds or when that hand slaps the mat for a pin. But, there are more than TV ratings at work here because I would rather poop-scoop my dog's dungus in 90-degree heat with no water while wearing a down feather winter jacket, than watch modern pentathlon.
But, if there's one thing I know about wrestlers, it's that they will never give up, ever. Do something good today -- http://letskeepwrestling.com/