Of course, I am about a week late. But still, a very sad day for the athletic community indeed.
Let’s be honest, sports aren’t highly discussed on my blog. And, I am generally a huge fan of the Olympics. But, this is an issue that I am pretty passionate and upset about. So here it goes:
About a week ago, the IOC (the governing body of the Olympics) cut wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC informed the world that this was their way of “renewing and renovating” the games. And while the IOC can prove that wrestling may not have been rated and watched as highly by viewers of the London Games as gymnastics and swimming, it is still a very valid sport, and important to the culture and history of the Games.
Did you know that wrestling was part of the first ever Summer Olympic Games? That’s right folks, wrestling has been in the Olympic games since 1896. And realistically before that even; 1896 was simply the first year the Olympics were recognized as an organized, international event.
What the IOC has decided to do is get rid of a classic, in favor of something new, something fresh, something more “modern.” Dropping wrestling made way for The Modern Pentathlon to stay apart of the games. This event combines fencing, swimming, horse riding, shooting, and running. All events which are already events of the Summer Olympic Calendar. Which leaves these athletes multiple opportunities to compete, and wrestlers none.
Besides the fact that wrestling is a classic, the IOC is failing to realize the caliber of athletes and people that this sport produces. Not only are the men AND WOMEN who participate in this event in peak physical condition, they are also some of the most strong minded out there.
For those of you who don’t know, wrestling requires an athlete to be disciplined, mentally tough, patient, resilient, brave, and daring (to name a few). Wrestling requires an athlete to go above and beyond normal competition. As I have heard so many times, wrestling is 90% mental and 10% physical. Wrestling is quite simply not your average sport.
The wrestlers I have known have inspired me to be a better person. To push through trials and challenges. To try even when continuing seems impossible. To not discount anyone. To not watch the clock. To never, ever give up until the metaphorical buzzer sounds. And while they may seem like big tough guys, most wrestlers are some of the best friends and most caring people I have ever met and will go out of their way to help those in need.
I would hate for future generations of young adults to not have the privilege to learn similar lessons from such a fantastic group of individuals.
Wrestling needs to be saved. And it still can be. Wrestling will compete against 7 other sports to regain its rightful spot in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. And it is our job to inform the IOC that it has made the wrong decision by removing wrestling. And that by doing so, they are diminishing the dreams of young wrestlers worldwide. It is our job to prove that the classics are worth keeping around. That history is more important than rejuvenation.
Don’t believe me about wrestlers? Check out this video:
I don’t know about you, but that inspires me. Not just the greats winning their matches, but the young guns. Let’s give them something to look forward to. #saveolympicwrestling
Peace and Blessings