IOC votes to keep wrestling in the Olympics

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Mark Munoz dons his custom “Keep Olympic Wrestling” shirt. Photo by Erik Fontanez

Wrestling is back in the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee on Sunday voted to reinstate the original Olympic sport, placing the event in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic games.

“Today is the most important day in the 2,000-year history of our sport,” FILA President Nenad Lalovic told the Associated Press. “We feel the weight of that history. Remaining on the Olympic program is crucial to wrestling’s survival.”

Wrestling received 49 votes for reinstatement in the Games, beating out baseball/softball (24 votes) and squash (22 votes).

Seven months ago, the IOC decided to pull wrestling from the Games, which sent a shockwave through the wrestling and mixed martial arts communities. Many MMA fighter have their roots in wrestling, such as UFC heavyweight Daniel Cormier, former two-division UFC champ Randy Couture and UFC middleweight Mark Munoz, among others.

The removal of wrestling from the Games spurred numerous petitions, which led to today’s IOC decision that will see the event return through 2024.

“We cannot imagine the games without wrestling,” Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the head of the Association of National Olympic Committees, told the AP. “Wrestling is a founder. Today was a great result.”


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