Wrestling Welcomed Back Into Olympic Program

Pardon this minor break from the football action on this first Sunday of the NFL season. It’s extremely worth it though, as news broke of the International Olympic Committee’s decision to keep wrestling in the core sports program for the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. The IOC corrected a pitiful move that was made back in February and avoided a complete atrocity by not re-including a sport that has been a part of the Games since ancient times.

Here’s the official statement from the IOC on their decision, which was made during the 125th Session of the IOC today in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In the latest step in the process of evaluating and refining the Olympic Programme, the sport of wrestling was elected today as an additional sport for the Summer Olympic Games of 2020 and 2024.

The decision was made at the 125th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after the full membership of the IOC agreed on the 25 sports that will form the core for the 2020 Games, awarded yesterday to the city of Tokyo.

The Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) made a presentation to the Session, along with the International Federations of baseball/softball (WBSC) and squash (WSF), all shortlisted by the IOC Executive Board in May following an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission. The IOC members voted for wrestling with a simple majority of votes cast in the first round.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “Wrestling has shown great passion and resilience in the last few months. They have taken a number of steps to modernise and improve their sport, including the addition of more women and athletes in decision-making positions; rule changes to make the sport more exciting and easy to understand; and an increase in the number of women’s competitions. We are pleased with their reaction and happy to have wrestling on the Olympic programme in 2020 and 2024.”

In order to control the size, cost and complexity of the Games, the Olympic Programme was capped in 2002 at 28 sports, approximately 300 events and a target of 10,500 athletes. It was also decided that a systematic review of the Olympic Programme would be conducted after every edition of the Games to provide regular rejuvenation of the Games while maintaining continuity and consistency. The concept of a core group of 25 sports with a maximum of three additional sports was adopted in 2007, and two years later golf and rugby sevens were added to the programme of the Rio 2016 and the 2020 Olympic Games.

Results of vote:
Wrestling: 49
Baseball/ softball: 24
Squash: 22

I’m incredibly pumped about the decision, but there’s one lingering question that I have after all of this. How the hell did Squash get 22 votes? Who the hell plays squash?

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