Wrestling to Remain Olympic Sport
By FCF Staff
The push to ensure that wrestling remains a part of the storied Olympic Games has succeeded. According to multiple reports, the IOC has decided to include wrestling in the upcoming, 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 49 out of 95 votes cast were in favour of saving wrestling. Competing events, baseball / softball and squash received 24 and 22 votes respectively and have been eliminated from the games.
The vote comes after a concerted effort by the wrestling world, as well as various MMA interests, to make sure wrestling wasn’t cut from the Olympics. For example, both Bellator and UFC rallied behind the “Save Olympic Wrestling” movement.
In February, the IOC announced that wrestling had lost its core sport status, which sent a shock wave throughout the sport as well as MMA. In May, the IOC announced that wrestling had been short listed in terms of candidate sports.
In addition to the widespread campaign that backed the sport, administrators took steps to modernize wrestling’s rules as a means to make it more appealing to mainstream audiences.
FILA (international wrestling federation) President Nenad Lalovic had this to say about the decision (quote via Globe and Mail.com):
“With this vote, you (the IOC) have shown that the steps we have taken to improve our sport have made a difference. I assure each of you that our modernisation will not stop now. We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic Movement that we can be.”
Lalovic also noted that now FILA’s goal will be to get wrestling back its core sport status.