Olympic officials drop wrestling from the 2020 Games in a shocking announcement made Tuesday.
The International Olympic Committee has decided to remove the sport, one of the event’s oldest categories, in favor of modern pentathlon. Wrestling has been a part of the Games since the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.
The Associated Press reports that an executive board made the decision to remove wrestling from a list of 26 “core sports” currently included in the Olympic program. Dropping the wrestling category will allow for the addition of a new sport.
Mark Adams, a spokesperson for the committee, explained the surprising decision as follows:
“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics. In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”
According to Reuters, the vote does not signify an absolute finality regarding the sport’s inclusion in the Olympics. While the secret ballot vote drops wrestling from its core list, the sport may stand a chance at being added back to program later this year.
Following the announcement, Adams clarified the situation for reporters:
“This is not the end of the process, this is purely a recommendation. It is the session which is sovereign.”
Wrestling will now be one of seven other candidate sports fighting for the one remaining spot on the program. The International Olympic Committee will make their final decision in Buenos Aires this September.
Will the Olympics’ decision to drop wrestling from its program keep you from tuning into the 2020 Games?