Wrestling should remain in the Olympics

Just a couple of weeks ago I found myself writing about Navy freshman wrestler Mathew Miller. At the time the piece was nothing more than a footnote about an Academy athlete who was having an outstanding season in his chosen sporting field, albeit one which is as physically demanding as anything out there.

Just a couple of weeks ago I found myself writing about Navy freshman wrestler Mathew Miller. At the time the piece was nothing more than a footnote about an Academy athlete who was having an outstanding season in his chosen sporting field, albeit one which is as physically demanding as anything out there. Little did I know that shortly thereafter wrestling would find itself shown the door by the International Olympic Committee and lose its place in the sporting pyramid.

So, for all the future Mathew Millers out there here are three reasons why the IOC needs to change their mind and reinstate wrestling for 2020.

1) The Olympics should be an individual sports pinnacle

I don't usually like to compare a sport's worth when it comes to Olympic inclusion. This is partly because it is hard to justify the individual merits of sports that are in (table tennis, shooting) with sports that are not (squash, surfing). The one caveat to this is that to me winning an Olympic medal MUST be the highest honor that is achievable in the sport Track stars grow up dreaming of winning an Olympic gold, Tiger Woods does not. Swimmers like Michael Phelps redefine what is possible in their sporting field creating Olympic memories which will last a lifetime, Rodger Federer does not.

The Olympics are the reason that top collegiate wrestlers continue with their craft, there is no professional league out there to join or million dollar marketing deals to sign. Basically there are plenty of sports which should be kicked out before wrestling.

2) The limited participation argument falls flat

One reason that has been cited as a possible reason for wrestling's exclusion from the games is that it is to US centric. Firstly, this is just wrong as the sport is hugely popular in places like Turkey, Russia, and Iran. Secondly if you are looking to cull a sport for being dominated by one country Table Tennis and its hopelessly Chinese medal count needs to go first.

3) Legacy

Wrestling is one of the oldest and most traditional sports competed at under the Olympic moniker which is among the most tradition heavy organizations out there. Wrestling in one form or another has been competed at in every Olympics with the exception of Paris in 1900. That is over 120 years or blood, sweat, and tears, which stands to be lost for little to no reason.

Though wrestling is not without its flaws, the scoring can be difficult to understand for the uninitiated for example, it deserves its Olympic place. The sport preaches dedication and discipline to a level not many others can and it would be a travesty if the IOC did not reconsider and reverse its initial decision.

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