In a surprise decision Tuesday, IOC leaders decided to drop wrestling from its 25 core sports, starting with the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling has been a part of each modern Olympic Games dating back to 1896, and was first contested at the 708 B.C. Ancient Games.
The IOC’s decision hurts our sport but is certainly not a fatal blow. The wrestling community must keep in mind that this decision is not final. Wrestling now joins a group of seven other sports which will apply for one remaining spot in the 2020 Games. Wrestling will have to present its case to the IOC Executive Board in St. Petersburg, Russia in May. The Board will then recommend a sport to be included in 2020 to the IOC General Assembly which will meet in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At this point, we must band together as a community. Let the IOC know that we will not stand for this. Reach out to everyone you know who loves our sport and sign the petitions:
What else can you do?
Above all else - be civil. We are all angry. The way to win this match is to demonstrate why wrestling deserves to be included in the Olympics, not to defame those who are trying to prevent it. Keep it positive and focus on what is so great about this sport.
Beat the Streets Chairman of the Board Mike Novogratz has been appointed the spokesperson for the team of advocates that USA Wrestling has put together to fight this decision. USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender said, "We have a great opportunity to show the world that wrestling belongs." See his complete comments at TheMat.com.
USA Wrestling has launched a donation drive.