The drive to keep wrestling in the Olympic Games scored a significant takedown today in St. Petersburg, Russia, as the International Olympic Committee has included the historic sport on the shortlist for the 2020 Summer Games. In September, the IOC will choose either wrestling, baseball / softball or squash as the final event that will be included in the 2020 Olympics.
IOC president Jacques Rogge was quoted saying in a statement about today’s decision:
“It was never going to be an easy decision but I feel my colleagues on the [IOC executive] board made a good decision in selecting baseball/softball, squash and wrestling to be put forward in Buenos Aires.”
As a result of today’s ruling, wakeboarding, wushu, karate, roller sports, and sports climbing have been cut from the upcoming Summer Games.
In February, many fans and prominent fighters throughout the MMA world were outraged, when it was announced that wrestling had been recommended for removal from the Olympics. An international movement to save wrestling was quickly organized, and the sport’s governing body FILA made some changes to the organization and its scoring system to address IOC concerns.
All things considered, today’s news is good news. Of course there’s still one more hurdle for wrestling to clear, but now it’s competition has been reduced to just a couple of events rather than several. Keep your fingers crossed.
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports