Tag Archives: Wrestling

7 – 3 – 3…

That was the voting breakdown from the final round of the IOC secret ballot which determined the fates of Wrestling, Modern Pentathlon and Field Hockey for the 2020 Games. Almost as surprising to me as seeing Wrestling get dropped was the fact that Field Hockey was on such thin ice with the IOC. For two weeks last summer I watched agonizingly as the hockey competition played out on the new blue “Smurf Turf”

SmurfTurfLondon

in front of a packed stadium and with a football like atmosphere for both the men’s and women’s matches.

Even the most pessimistic British pundits had to admit that it was one of the most successful events of the entire Games and left me with no indication that losing Olympic status was even remotely possible. How the IOC comes to these decisions is beyond me and to be honest I am not really sure why we need to “lose” sports in general, however I can tell you reading blog entries from Canadian Wrestlers Sam Stewart and Matt Gentry that the results are devastating at all levels, from the individual Olympic level athletes, to the NOC’s and finally to all those young wrestlers who had aspirations of competing for their country at future Olympic Games. It is a complete death blow to the sport especially when the result came down so suddenly and unexpectedly and when you take into consideration just how massive and significant an event the Olympic Games have become.

No longer is it a meager collection of athletes from obscure sports, it has become a world spectacle, the giant dangling carrot that sits there motivating athletes and attainable only every 4 years. Top level success in amateur sports, especially for the smaller profile events, is now nearly solely judged on the basis of Olympic participation and performance, for better and for worse. (read this…) For the IOC to take that carrot away from so many wrestlers (364 athletes in London, not to mention the ones who had Olympic aspirations) is disappointing to say the least and the vote was a real wake-up call for me after seeing how close Field Hockey was from losing its future Olympic status. My hope is that in the future the IOC does not continue to drop these bombs on the Amateur Sports Community every four years and instead works to preserve the hopes and dreams of all young aspiring Olympians everywhere…

In memory of Olympic Wrestling, and one of the highlights of my Olympic Games watching childhood…

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