Growing up at school and having to put up with the usual ‘bullying‘ that occurs among young kids, can be intimidating. Turning to sports, particularly to those that train you to an honorable, clean self-defense approach, can quickly change the rules of the game.
Wrestling was always split into two categories: Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, and WWF entertainment wrestling. The latter, was always perceived as a sketchy demonstration of faking attacks and injuries, a game best fit for the circus.
The Olympic sports of Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling on the other hand, always carried with them the legacy of being sports practiced at the original Olympics of ancient Greece.
The Olympic Games, first took place in 776 BC; wrestling and boxing, along with running, throwing the discus and pankration – a combination of wrestling and boxing akin to modern kick-boxing – existed since the 8th and 7th centuries.
In a shocking decision, the International Olympic Committee considers removing wrestling from its list of Olympic sports for 2020. The host city has not been decided yet, it’s a toss between Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo.
The IOC is killing the Olympic spirit with a single stroke of a digital pen, erasing one of the most ancient sport events from the Olympic calendar. It’s disregarding tens of thousands of wrestling athletes around the world, and millions of fans of the sport. It’s ruining the dreams of wrestlers, among the harder-working athletes of all sports, who train for years to become Olympians.
As a Greek, I am appalled by this decision and I denounce it.
The International Olympic Committee and those who voted to put the wrestling event on a “no-go” list for the 2020 Olympics are shaming the Olympic spirit, the international sports community and those that entrusted them with such important decisions.
The Facebook page “Keep Wrestling in the Olympics” has received more than 70,000 likes in a day. There is also a petition at the White House that is currently far from close to receiving 100,000 signatures.