Tuesday, February 12, 2013

RULON GARDNER AND KURT ANGLE HAVE A SAD:  In a surprise move (because modern pentathlon was the expected victim), the International Olympic Committee has decided to drop wrestling (both freestyle and Greco-Roman) from the 2020 Summer Games. The decision leaves boxing, fencing, judo, and taekwondo as remaining one-on-one fighting disciplines.

Wrestling now gets to apply for the now-vacant spot in the 2020 Games, in addition to baseball/softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding, and wushu. (Golf and rugby sevens have already been added for 2016.)


  1. Jordan9:53 AM

    Baseball/softball won't happen. The IOC has already said that MLB has to let players out for the Olympics to make it happen and Selig has repeatedly said no. Unless that changes, I'd be shocked if baseball/softball gets in. Although, I am shocked that wrestling got dropped...

  2. Joseph Finn11:55 AM

    So, how much do you think the bribe by the pentathlon people was?

    (Golf? Really? At least it's actually a sport with objective scoring.)

  3. isaac_spaceman12:36 PM

    I'm much more a baseball fan than a wrestling fan, but wrestling really ought to have permanent Olympic status. It traces its lineage to the actual Greeks (though I don't know off the top of my head whether it was an event in the original Olympic Games). It also satisfies the critical "do I count on watching this at the Olympics while not having any interest in watching it at any other time?" test, like swimming and speed-skating.

  4. isaac_spaceman12:42 PM

    Incidentally, there is no way that the IOC avoids bribery suspicion when a secret vote surprisingly keeps a sport that at first glance appears to have the highest entry costs (horses, fencing lessons, guns) and therefore likely the wealthiest participants.

  5. i wouldn't rule out extortion (swords, guns). I wonder if it might make sense to switch some summer olympics sports that are played indoors to the winter games. It's hard for any sport to get oxygen up against track/swimming/womens' gymnastics.

  6. Joseph Finn12:56 PM

    And one of the fewest amount of countries participating (30 for 2012 is what I saw).

  7. Watts1:09 PM

    I need my men in onesies grappling with each other on the floor, dammit. It's not just un-American and un-Olympian to deny me that, it's INHUMANE.

  8. bill.5:35 PM

    doesn't have to be bribery:

    Former IOC president's son is modern pentathlon vice president [and an IOC board member]

  9. I'm hoping that softball will come in on its own merit, not tied to baseball. Those issues you pointed out do not apply to softball and it's unfair to tie the women's sport to the men's problems.

  10. Jordan9:35 AM

    I'll have to go back and check, but IIRC, softball joined up with baseball to help its chances. The knock on softball is that only a few countries field teams, and talent in centered in even fewer. Of the 12 medals given out over its four Olympiads, 11 went to 3 countries. At the time it was dropped, only the US had even won a gold medal.

  11. isaac_spaceman9:04 PM

    But it's probably bribery.