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Found February 21, 2013 on The Victory Formation: Yardbarker Blogger Network

Via The Victory Formation:

There aren’t many that have agreed with the dismissal of wrestling from the Summer Olympics, and while many have voiced their displeasure, nobody has taken drastic action. That was until legendary Bulgarian wrestler Valentin Yordanov decided to return his gold medal from the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

The Bulgarian Olympic hero is currently the president of the Bulgarian wrestling federation, and is a 10-time World Champion as well as the gold medal winner from the 1996 Games. He is completely dismayed by IOC’s decision to eliminate wrestling with the possibility of being replaced by a non-traditional Olympic event. Here is what he wrote in a letter to the president of IOC:

“As a sign of protest I am returning my gold medal, won at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne.”

Yordanov went on to say the following:

“With this act I express my solidarity with the millions of athletes and fans of our sport who are condemning the recommendation of the IOC. Our sport is an integral part of the Olympic movement and one of the foundations of both the ancient and modern Olympics.”

Bulgaria has a lot to lose if wrestling is eliminated. The country is 24th in the all-time Olympic medal count, with the bulk of its success on the mat. Bulgaria has won 16 gold medals in the Olympics. That’s nearly a one third of their gold-medal count since the first Olympic Games in 1896. Bulgaria has competed in most of the Olympic competitions since its inception. Wrestling has been in an event in all the Games.

In addition to Yordanov’s proteset, Bulgarian Greco-Roman wrestling coach national team coach Armen Nazarian is considering a hunger strike. Nazarian is a two-time wrestling champ for the country.

Probably the best line from Yordanov came at the expense of IOC president Jacques Rogge.

“He unreservedly united Russia, the United States and Iran for a single cause – saving the sport of wrestling, without which the Olympics will never be the same,”

Actions like Yordanov’s, as well as the recent groundswell of support from others may play a major role in having wrestling reinserted into the Olympic lineup. However, it will more likely come down to dollars and cents, just as most decisions in this day and age.

11 Comments:
  • Let's just replace wrestling with cup stacking.That way solo can be the official cup of the Olympics.
  • ...and let's not forget dog dancing or poker, both of which have been tossed around as possible sports. I think I'll pass on the Olympics from now on.
  • When I first read about this I figured the IOC had joined with WA & CO and started to smoke legalized weed. Wrestling has BIBLICAL origins. WTF is going on?
  • It is unbelievable they would do this.The politics will ruin the games forever.They need to show more wrestling and add weight classes instead of reducing weight classes and showing a tape delayed match at 11:45pm on a Thursday night. USA wrestlers are in Iran right now competeing,the sports the best representation of the Olympic spirit.
  • wrestling is the most traditional sport in the olympics..they talk of money? its the cheapest sport in the world. A 10 dollar singlet and a mat you put down on the floor? no special equipment..it is impossible to loose money in wrestling but oh let get rid of it and keep ping pong? come on.. olympics is supposed to be about sport and brotherhood.. wrestlers are by far some of the fittest in the world and talk about brotherhood.they beat each other up then shake hands. keep it and get rid of some other lame excuse for a sport..
  • I am barking out about this ridiculous scandal they are attempting to do, take away WRESTLING ? WHAT ? PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK.How do you think the OLYMPICS started & what was there biggest event from the beginning?WRESTLING THAT'S RIGHT. THIS IS PREPOSTEROUS HOW CAN YOU EVEN THINK OF SUCH AN ABSURD ACT? WAKE UP WRESTLING GOES BACK TO THE ROMAN GLADIATORS & YOU JUST WANT TO END IT> THINK REALLY HARD BEFORE MAKING THIS WRONG DECISION>
  • canceling wrestling from the Olympics is by far the #1 Dumb Ass thing I have heard of.... wake up you idiots and listen to the people....
  • I am a state champion, my father was as well. My son is expecting his first and my cousins all have titles and so on. Since I can remember, wrestling has been everywhere. Its the oldest form of hand to hand combat dating back in writing to the Trojans and Greeks ( who btw invented the Olympics)
    Even today do you think we would have UFC without wrestling? Wait thats called boxing. I only watch the Olympics because of wrestling.
    If the IOC is worried about money from sponsorships, I understand todays economy and mans greed. However, it takes viewers to make money right? If wrestling is removed I will never watch the Olympics again, and I will discourage anyone else from doing the same. I know at least a thousand wrestlers out there and thier families and so on. I will boycott the event. And i will use social media to do the same.
    Its just ridiculous to think that you could remove the foundation and core of how the Olympics were created.
    I cant believe how angry and offended I am.
    Wrestlers are a deep brotherhood and are in evey school in America.
    How is a young athlete going to fall in love with the sport now?
    Bad idea this is. Watch out weight lifting will be next, to be replaced with beer pong.
    Have a good day.
  • I wonder if it's their way of starting the ball rolling for not including MMA in the olympics.
  • Terrific, we have now gotten rid of a classic Olympic sport and will probably replace it with tiddly winks to appease the fat and flabby of the world. Frankly, I would like to see more of the so called minor sports in the Olympics and less of gymnastics which seems to have 47 different ways of doing the same thing over and over and over again. And after we have seen the 47 versions we then get to see them do the same thing while running around with ribbons. Geez!
  • Time to drop the Olympics. Best solution when an organization get too big and powerful that it begins to corrupt its foundation principals. Read: The lords of the rings: Power, money, and drugs in the modern Olympics by Vyv Simons for a small glimps of the corruption from the top of the IOC. I would look at revisement of all the sports through thier own governing body. Look at a new competitive time table for a presentation schedule(not 4 years). Then take them all and set up a new presentation format that is being headed by a different organizational philosophical structure. That would give each sport a chance to showcase thier athletes and competition and what it takes to be the best of each particular sport. Then take the package that would arrange all the events over a year and drop the Olympic (IOC) organization. By looking at all the events and what they provide to athletic competition and how different sports can logistically compliment each other. Reduce the high expense of the host cities and take more events to more people. For the IOC it is only about the $$$$ for 99% of the athletes it about the sport, overcoming the obstacles of thier sport and achieving the the best they can be, with the hopeful out come of being Champion that day.
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