In a shocking announcement made earlier today, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board voted to drop wrestling from the Olympics starting in 2020. Wrestling has been an Olympic sport dating back to the ancient games and was a part of the first modern games which took part in Athens in 1896. With the exception of the 1900 Olympic Games, wrestling has been a part of every Olympiad.
Despite this bad news, there is still a slim possibility that wrestling will be taking place at the Olympics in 2012. Eight sports, including wrestling, will be competing for the only non-core spot in the Games. The other seven sports are baseball and softball, roller sports, karate, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu.
While this may not have an immediate impact on the world of professional wrestling, it could hurt the sport in several years. Amateur wrestling has traditionally been a gateway into the world of professional wrestling. Without the possibility of competing for Olympic gold, it is very possible that some great and highly-competitive athletes will forsake wrestling and participate in other sports instead.
For those of you that are curious, the following is a list of the 25 core sports: aquatics, archery, athletics (track & field), badminton, basketball, boxing, canoe kayak, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football (soccer), gymnastics, handball, hockey (field hockey), judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, table tennis (ping pong), taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, and weightlifting. While there are several on this list that I feel should have been cut instead of wrestling, the first one that popped out at me for exclusion from the Olympics was badminton. It was the only sport in the 2012 Games where athletes were purposely trying to lose so they would have a better chance to win a gold medal. Check out the highlights from this match to see how the best in that sport competed on the biggest stage.
Photo of Kurt Angle After Winning the Gold: Jed Jacobsohn