The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has opted to drop wrestling for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The shocking move scraps one of the oldest sports on the Olympic program, which dates back to 1896. The IOC chose the pentathlon over wrestling to include in its list of core sports, according to the Associated Press.
What this means is that wrestling will have to vy for the only open position on the 2020 roster, along with seven other sports, including baseball/softball, which was ousted by the IOC in 2005. The decision was based on an analysis of the sport using three dozen criteria, including ticket sales, television ratings and global participation–basically, making it one based on popularity other than anything else. Face it, the Olympic Games are a business.
Wrestling lost out to the modern pentathlon, which combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting–five skills that were required for a 19th century cavalry officer.
Critics argue that wrestling is a foundation stone to the Olympics, which was originally modeled after the Ancient Olympic Games, dating back to 776 B.C. in Greece. But proponents say the games have to move forward and change with the times. After all, they say, the original games also included chariot races and combat events, neither of which have ever been included in the modern day version of the games.
But there are holes in that argument. Does a competition testing the skills required by a 19th century cavalry officer constitutes a sport of the future?