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Wrestling is an amateur sport, popular in high school, college and the Olympics, which consists of opponents of similar weight attempting to obtain control of each other and pinning the opposition to the ground.

This extremely athletic sport is not to be confused with "professional wrestling," which is staged entertainment.

When women participate in it, wrestling is a joke sport.

Wrestling in the Olympics

The first recorded Olympic wrestling match occurred in the Olympics in 708 BC.[1] When the modern Olympics were revived, wrestling was included in the 1896 games. The sport was not a part of the 1900 games, but has been a part of the Summer Olympic program ever since. Starting with the 2004 games, women have participated in freestyle wrestling. At the 2012 London Olympics, 344 athletes competing in 11 medal wrestling events.[2]

Because of growing costs, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been under pressure to reduce the number of events and the number of athletes in each summer game. The IOC has adopted a system where "core sports" would continue indefinitely in future Olympics, but "non-core" sports would be selected for inclusion on an Olympic game-by-game basis. Currently, wrestling is one of the 26 core sports. However, following the London Olympics, the IOC's Executive Committee conducted a study of the 26 core sports in terms of their success at the London Olympics as well as world-wide grassroots support. The study sought to trim one core sport so that starting with the 2020 Olympics, only 25 core sports would continue to make room for one non-core sport. On February 12, 2013, the IOC Executive Board voted to recommend that wrestling be dropped as a core sport. If approved by the full IOC, wrestling with have to compete with seven other non-core sports - baseball/softball, squash, karate, sport climbing, wakeboarding, wushu and roller sports - for a place in the 2020 Games.[2]

The international federation that governs wrestling (FILA) responded with a statement the same day:

FILA was greatly astonished by today's recommendation of the IOC Executive Board not to maintain wrestling among the 25 core sports for the 2020 Olympic Games. FILA will take all necessary measures to convince the IOC Executive Board and IOC members of the aberration of such decision against one of the founding sports of the ancient and modern Olympic Games.[3]

On February 15, FILA held an emergency meeting and its President, Mr. Raphaël Martinetti, asked for a vote of confidence. When only 50% of his Board voted to support him, he resigned as FILA President.[3] Although wrestlers will be able to continue to compete in the World Games, United States wrestlers have expressed grave disappointment at the possibility that they could be excluded from future Olympics.[4] Although wrestling includes both men and women in the Olympic Programme, radical feminist are concerned that it will be replaced by another sport that includes both genders. Instead, they advocate for the inclusion of netball, a women-only variation of basketball that was invented in Victorian England in response to basketball being too unladylike.


  1. History of Wrestling. Retrieved on February 18, 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wrestling to be dropped from 2020 Olympic Games. Retrieved on February 18, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Recommendation of IOC Executive Board. Retrieved on February 17, 2013.
  4. Sheinin, Dave. "Wrestling prodigy's Olympic dream in jeopardy", Washington Post, February 15, 2012, p. A1.