by Bryanna Fissori
After seven months of endless petitioning and rallying a fierce outcry of support, Olympic Wrestling has proven its worth to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and will remain in the line-up of sports for the 2020 and 2024 Summer Olympics.
Previous to the February decision to cut wrestling from the games, the IOC had been pushing for modernization in the sport. The near loss of its coveted place was the catalyst for a long-awaited change of rules and addition of more weight classes for women. Matches will now consist of two-three minute rounds instead of three two-minute rounds. Takedowns will count for two points instead of one, and matches will be decided by accumulated points. There is currently no female division for Greco-Roman wrestling, but officials have stated that enough interest may change that.
Other sports proposing to take the nearly-vacant space were baseball/softball and squash. Baseball and Softball were cut from the games after the 2008 Olympics in Bejing, and squash has never been a part of the games.
It would have been hard for the IOC to ignore the #SaveOlympicWrestling campaign which quickly flooded social media and as well as print, online and broadcast media sources, not to mention T-Shirts, banner, flyers and nearly all other visual aids imaginable.
Wrestling is not only an integral part of mixed martial arts at the professional level, but is often a starting block for future MMA competitors who are allowed to find their passion in the grappling arts at an early age because of the prevalence of wrestling in youth sports.
Congratulations to all the competitors and supporters who worked diligently to secure wrestling’s position as a core Olympic sport. See you in Tokyo.
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