IOC Announces Plans to Drop Wrestling For 2020 Olympics
Former Olympian Ben Askren Calls Decision “A Travesty”
By FCF Staff
The wrestling and MMA world is reeling today after the International Olympic Committee announced plans to drop freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling from the storied athletic event, beginning in 2020.
The decision, which was made via secret ballot, spared other sports that were up for elimination like Taekwondo and field hockey. Some of the reported criteria for determining whether an event should be retained include television ratings, ticket sales and global popularity.
Wrestling, is of course, one of the founding sports behind the Olympics and was reintroduced into the modern version of the event in 1896.
Former Olympian competitor, NCAA wrestling champion, and current Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren responded to the news via Twitter by saying:
Don’t know what to think about wrestling being dropped from the Olympics. It is a travesty and I am trying to get my head around it.
While wrestling has technically been removed from the list of “core sports” by the IOC, it could be re-established over the coming years provided a substantive appeal is launched.