The International Olympic Committee’s executive board made its decision to drop wrestling from the 2020 Games after assessing the performance of all 26 sports at the London Games. There is a slim chance wrestling may be reinstated when the IOC meets in Buenos Aires in September to ratify its choice.
Modern pentathlon and taekwondo were thought to be the sports most at risk when the IOC committee met in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday, but wrestling was the surprise choice for the axe.
Wrestling will now compete with baseball/softball, squash, karate, sport climbing, wakeboarding, wushu and roller sports for a place in the 2020 Games.
Statement from Nebraska Wrestling Head Coach Mark Manning on the IOC’s recommendation to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympics:
“The wrestling community is shocked and disappointed by the IOC’s recommendation to eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games. The sport of wrestling has a great history in the Olympics dating back to the inaugural Games in Athens in 1896.
“Removing wrestling from the Olympics would have a far-reaching impact on our sport. It not only greatly affects our current Olympic athletes and future Olympians, but it would also damage the sport at the collegiate, high school and youth levels. Wrestling is the sixth-most popular boys’ high school sport in the United States with more than 275,000 participants, and at the collegiate level we have sold out the NCAA Championships the past four years, so the interest and passion for the sport is widespread. Hopefully, the IOC will take into account the impact of this decision on the American and international wrestling communities, and re-consider when they meet in May.”