Devil Dish: Keep wrestling in the Olympics

Bad news, wrestling fans.

As of right now, wrestling won’t be part of the 2020 Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee voted Monday to not include Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling for 2020. Wrestling was cut over modern pentathlon, and the IOC stated that it’s a move toward “renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics.”

It’s a puzzling move to ixnay one of the original sports from the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Wrestling is a classic sport that purely tests skill and athletic ability and hardly requires any special equipment to compete. It’s not limited to any particular geographical region.

Cutting wrestling is also a contradiction to the rapid growth of mixed martial arts, which has given wrestlers a solid professional outlet to compete with their craft outside of college and the Olympics.

There are plenty sports in the Olympic lineup that should be eliminated before wrestling.

No disrespect to any of the following, but how are equestrian sports, BMX racing and ping-pong more deserving to stay in the Olympics than wrestling?

If a sport like wrestling doesn’t belong in the Games, then what does?

 

Reach the columnist at jnacion@asu.edu