The International Olympic Committee today announced that it would remove wrestling from its list of core sports after the 2016 Summer Games, opening a slot for one of eight sports applying for slot in the 2020 program.
The IOC board voted to cut wrestling instead of one of the other candidates for elimination, which included the modern pentathlon, taekwondo, and field hockey.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams said, “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”
American wrestler Jordan Burroughs celebrates after winning gold at the 2012 Games in London. (Photo by Orestis Panagiotou / EPA)
Currently 26 sports (including wrestling) comprise the Summer Olympics program, though swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, and water polo count as one sport. The IOC is adding golf and rugby sevens in 2016. Wrestling can reapply for inclusion in 2020, but it will be up against baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding, and wushu.
Wrestling made its Olympics debut at the First Olympiad in 1896. It has been a part of every Summer Olympics since the 1904 Games in St. Louis. Every Olympics since 1920 has included both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling events.
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