International Olympic Committee Drops Wrestling in 2020; Remember Karelin vs. Rulon

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Olympic Wrestling took over the cover of GRACIEMAG in 2000

Olympic Wrestling took over the cover of GRACIEMAG in 2000

The wrestling community woke up today with some really sad news.

The Olympic Committee decided not to include the sport in the list of 25 modalities that are guaranteed to be in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

With that, wrestling will have a last chance to make the list at a presentation for the International Olympic Commitee Board, in St. Petersburg next May.

2012 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling Jordan Borroughs commented on the news.

“Needless to say I’m beyond saddened at the news of wrestling’s removal from the Olympic Games starting in 2020,” Burroughs posted on his Facebook page. “This is no time to be sad though. We need to come together as a community and realize that this is beyond gold medals. These are the dreams of millions of boys and girls across the world at stake. Don’t stop dreaming and don’t stop believing. Save Olympic Wrestling.”

His comments reverberated through social media channels and started the “Save Olympic Wrestling” campaign.

Wrestling worldwide ruling entity also released an statement on the matter. It reads:

“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. FILA has always complied with the IOC regulations and is reprensented in 180 countries, with wrestling being the national sport in a fair amount of them and the only possibility for athletes to represent their country at the Olympic Games, thus contributing to their universality. The FILA Bureau will meet in Phuket (THA) on 16-17 February and will address this issue in view of the presentation of wrestling in front of the IOC Executive Board in St-Petersburg next May.”

While we wait for further developments in the matter, GRACIEMAG brings back one of the most important moments of olympic wrestling.

The video below shows the up to 130kg division final match of the 2000 Olympics, in Sydney. Russian Alexander Karelin was after his forth gold medal and also defending the title of undefeated athlete in international matches. His adversary was American Rulon Gardner.

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