February 12, 2013

Why was wrestling cut from the 2020 Olympics?

Wrestling! Isn't that Essence of Olympics?
The IOC executive board decided to retain modern pentathlon — the event considered most at risk — and remove wrestling instead from its list of 25 "core sports."
Something had to be cut so something could be added.
Wrestling, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896....

Wrestling was voted out from a final group that also included modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey....
 Field hockey!
The board voted after reviewing a report by the IOC program commission report that analyzed 39 criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member board was also subject to political, emotional and sentimental factors....

Wrestling featured 344 athletes competing in 11 medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman at last year's London Olympics. Women's wrestling was added to the Olympics at the 2004 Athens Games.
So they let the women in... and then they cut the sport altogether. But they leave field hockey... the team sport conventionally thought fit for women. How well did field hockey do in the 39 criteria?

Maybe the political-emotional-sentimental thinking went something like this: In a system that requires performance of the theater of women's equality, how can we eliminate the sight of something that's making us very uncomfortable?

57 comments:

Lezer said...

"... the team sport conventionally thought fit for women ...."

Maybe in your country, but not elsewhere.

James Pawlak said...

I suggest that they bring back "Pankration" (Look it up).

From reports received there has been a good amount of inter-sexual wrestling at that every four year event.

DADvocate said...

Wow. They have men's field hockey. Didn't know that. I've watched as much of the Olympics as possible for 40 years and didn't know that. Wrestling was one of my favorite events. Sweaty bodies writhing on a mat....

AllenS said...

They'll add snowboarding, or skateboarding. Our civilization is declining.

James said...

>> But they leave field hockey... the team sport conventionally thought fit for women<<

Who thinks that? Perhaps if you're American but hockey is an extremely popular sport in countries like India and Pakistan (1.3 billion people) where its almost exclusively played by men.

jacksonjay said...


What about ping-pong, I mean table tennis? Now that is an Olympic sport!

Quayle said...

A more pressing question: why is Instapundit.com down?

bridgecross said...

I'm still trying to wrap my head around IOC's decision on baseball, a sport played by dozens of nations on three continents. But they still think we want to watch dressage? (That's not meant as a Romney dig. Fathers play catch with their sons, they don't saddled up and do horse ballet)
I would love to see the return of two sports discontinued in the 1920's: Tug-of-War and Rugby. At the very least, some athletes should organize informal tug-of-war competitions during the closing ceremonies.

jd said...

Field hockey is also a men's sport in the rest of the world.

DADvocate said...

Instapundit's working for me.

jd said...

Field hockey is also a men's sport in the rest of the world.

Jay said...

Drop wrestling but keep CANOEING!

And yes, field hockey is a "sport" for little girls, so of course it could not be taken off the list.

Larry J said...

AllenS said...
They'll add snowboarding, or skateboarding. Our civilization is declining.


Snowboarding is already part of the winter olympics. This ruling is about the summer games.

DADvocate said...

There's about 10-12 countries that consistently enter field hockey teams in the Olympics with India leading the way. None of these are from the western hemisphere where men are men and the sheep are nervous.

SGT Ted said...

They need to get rid of the "sports" that are performed to a musical sound track. That will create room for other, actual sports.

Chip S. said...

In a system that requires performance of the theater of women's equality, how can we eliminate the sight of something that's making us very uncomfortable?

Women's Jello wrestling, obviously.

Mitchell the Bat said...

This could be an opportunity for dwarf tossing.

jimbino said...

There would be a lot more interest in naked wrestling like the Greeks used to do. Either that or inter-sex mud wrestling in bikinis.

ricpic said...

Synchronized swimming is in; wrestling is out: the feminization of the world continues apace.

Shawn Levasseur said...

DADvotate, they already have added Snowboarding. It's been an event at least since the Nagano games.

DADvocate said...

Either that or inter-sex mud wrestling in bikinis.

Too dangerous. We all saw what happened to Blue in "Old School."

jacksonjay said...

SGT Ted sed:

They need to get rid of the "sports" that are performed to a musical sound track. That will create room for other, actual sports.

My favorite theme music sport is ribbon/hula-hoop/kickball gymnastics!

DADvocate said...

DADvotate, they already have added Snowboarding. It's been an event at least since the Nagano games.

That was AllenS. I'm quite aware of the feats of Shawn White. My son's a snowboarder, albeit a rather large one.

Scott M said...

My first reaction - none of the original classical-Greek events which were originally adopted in the first modern Olympics should ever be cut.

My second reaction echos something AA mentioned. If there were a set of criteria, ratings and ticket sales being among an objective (sorta) metric of judging the popularity of an event, did field hockey fare better or worse than wrestling.

My third reaction is that I tried wrestling in eighth grade because I thought it would help with football's off-season conditioning and strength training. I lasted about two weeks. Wrestling is icky.

AllenS said...

Well, there you go Larry J, it's the end of the world as we know it.

bpm4532 said...

The same thing happens in college. Lots of wrestling teams vanished. Instead of wiping out one sport in favor of another, why not just start a women's wrestling team? Why not start a women's football team. Just apply the same funding. For every sport, one male, one female, same funding.

Of course, some people would view a simple two-sex differentiation not enough...

bpm4532 said...

We've got waay too many sports in the Olympics as it is. Return to the core sports. eliminate badminton, ping-pong, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, etc.

MadisonMan said...

Why not start a women's football team. Just apply the same funding. For every sport, one male, one female, same funding.

Great idea. Make it separate, but equal.

virgil xenophon said...

How did the US vote? Anyone know?
Because if they voted to eliminate I think I know the reason why..

virgil xenophon said...

PS: And speaking as an ex-collegiate varsity tennis-player and son of a Hall-of-fame college tennis coach, I really think tennis does not belong in the Olympic games. Tennis has the national team equivalent in the Davis Cup already and the "Grand-Slam" "Major" open tournaments sufficient for individual international honors. Besides which, tennis has been a very recent late addition to the Games anyway..

rhhardin said...

Bring in men's and women's chess.

AustinRoth said...

Virgil -

It is about the money.

Tennis is VERY popular and therefore unlikely to ever be cut.

It brings in a lot revenue, spectators and TV viewers, which is of course the true spirit of the Olympics to the organizers and governing bodies.

EDH said...

What do those Pencil-Neck Geeks know anyways?

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

DADvocate said...
There's about 10-12 countries that consistently enter field hockey teams in the Olympics with India leading the way. None of these are from the western hemisphere where men are men and the sheep are nervous.


wiki says that the Home team (Argentinia is hosting the Games is pretty good. as is the rest of SA):

Argentina has emerged as a team to be reckoned with since 2000, winning the world championship in 2002 and 2010 and medals at the last three Olympics.

William Vallee said...

Write to the olympic commitee in protest of the decision. Its a shame really. The one sport that someone who is small, large, tall, short can excell in regardless of size. It is also a sport that requires no gear or expense making it perfect for low income communities. Maybe if the television networks would play it at a reasonable hour people would watch... If anything cut swimming.

William Vallee said...

Write to the olympic commitee in protest of the decision. Its a shame really. The one sport that someone who is small, large, tall, short can excell in regardless of size. It is also a sport that requires no gear or expense making it perfect for low income communities. Maybe if the television networks would play it at a reasonable hour people would watch... If anything cut swimming.

JAL said...

Insty is down for me also at 10:40 AM east coast.

Joe said...

SGT Ted said: "They need to get rid of the "sports" that are performed to a musical sound track. That will create room for other, actual sports."

Actually, they should not have the Olympics showcasing any sport that requires an international panel of judges to decide the outcome.

The results will always be tainted, and sometimes lead to things like the '72 Munich massacre.

I realize that would remove some of the most popular spectacles of both the summer and winter Olympics, and those sports certainly deserve their own venues.

Just not one that is so politicized.

CWJ said...

It's not the sports. It's the IOC. Money changed hands. Perks were dangled. Favor was curried with the host country in the expectation that more money would change hands and egos stroked during the site visits and actual games.

traditionalguy said...

Wrestling is the world's oldest sport pitting one man against one man intensely to victory of defeat. It is a war of the champions of two groups, but it is not a team sport as some try to sell it.

The TV audience is ALL the Olympics operation cares about. And wrestling only makes sense to other wrestlers.

I believe the Greek Olympic wrestlers did it naked. Now that could generate some TV like WWF faked wrestling ballet TV shows do using lusty men in tights. But the ability to suspend disbelief in faked wrestling ballet is peculiar to Americans.

Shanna said...

Drop wrestling but keep CANOEING!

I like Canoeing! My brother had an olympics sport game on the original nintendo when I was a kid and canoeing was my favorite.

Sam L. said...

Reminds me of a review of "Jason & The Argonauts" in NEWSWEEK, long ago.

Jason sowed the dragon's teeth, and out of the ground come armed skeletons. "And with the blood-curdling cry of the Bryn Mawr field hockey team, they attacked."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

In a system that requires performance of the theater of women's equality, how can we eliminate the sight of something that's making us very uncomfortable?

Adding Jello would make it more comfortable, and improve the theater.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Damn, Chip S. beat me to it.

edutcher said...

B-b-but isn't wrestling homoerotic?

Where's Hatman to protest this?

NitneLiun said...

Wrestling is Iran's most successful sport. In your face, Ahmadenijad.

ErnieG said...

They're getting rid of Wrestling, and keeping Rhythmic Gymnastics, which consists of prancing about trailing ribbons. They might as well have competitive Interior Decorating or Extreme Ironing. Somebody else suggested Dwarf Tossing. How about Parkour or Freerunning? For either of the last two, a stylized obstacle course could be set up to simulate an urban setting. Scoring might be based on time to run the course, with style points for clearing certain obstacles. Another way to score it might be along the lines of gymnastics or diving, with judging based on style. The height of a wall or the dimensions of an obstacle might be adjusted hydraulically, making, say, vertical wall clearing an event similar to the Pole Vault.

Rabel said...

Rasslin' wasn't eliminated. It just didn't make the first cut of 25 core sports.

Christopher said...

ErnieG,

They keep rhythmic gymnastics because the core audience of the Olympics these days is largely female.

Cedarford said...

virgil xenophon said...
PS: And speaking as an ex-collegiate varsity tennis-player and son of a Hall-of-fame college tennis coach, I really think tennis does not belong in the Olympic games. Tennis has the national team equivalent in the Davis Cup already and the "Grand-Slam" "Major" open tournaments sufficient for individual international honors. Besides which, tennis has been a very recent late addition to the Games anyway..

=================
Tennis belongs, IMO, as a tennis player. Global sport, growing again, something that all races and ethnicities can find one of their own to be a standout at.
Great viewing, packed retinues, a chance for inter-nation rivals to represent their countries. Same deal with real football and basketball.
(American football and baseball, alas, are not globally popular team sports)

There are 3 longstanding prestigious Slams, but those Slams are controlled by associations within 3 nations. The 4th, the Australian Open, only came to prominence and pro obligated participation in the late 80s, just as tennis in the Olympics started.
As for Davis Cup, great if you are from a strong tennis nation deep in talent that can go far in Davis Cup play. Bad if you are a standout Brit male with no one else of top male talent to form a team with. You are out of luck for Davis Cup. But you can win the Olympics.

Sports change, just like writing and architecture changed from classic Greek heydays and there is no imperative that we must retain "the Greek preferences" in buildings or literature.

My personal preference would be to migrate some summer Olympics sports that "clutter up" the Olympics and add too high costs to the host nation in terms of dedicated arena facilities - to the winter olympics. Get past the fetish that any Winter Olympics event must involve frozen water in some form. Some sports in the summer Olympics actually have their main season in the late fall spring - like wrestling, non-beach volleyball, gymnastics.

elkh1 said...

jacksonjay said...
"What about ping-pong, I mean table tennis? Now that is an Olympic sport!"

That is a Chinese sport. That's how they won medals in the Beijing Game, that's why their medals win collapsed in the London Game when ping-pong (a Brit originated sport) was pared down.

elkh1 said...

bridgecross: Tug-of-War sounds belligerent, has no place in the Game of Peace. It's dangerous too, some guys might lose their fingers tugging and pulling. Too dangerous for the Game of Peace.

Matt said...

How about introduce women wrestling! Problem solved and everyone gets what they want. Plus better ticket sales.

MikeAdamson said...

I'm surprised that taekwando would beat out wrestling.

Maguro said...

They already have women's wrestling. Or had, anyway.

Truckee Man said...

IOC = Noble Peace Prize Committee