The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board met in St. Petersburg, Russia, Wednesday to determine which sports of the proposed eight would remain in consideration for the 2020 Olympics. Wrestling, along with softball-baseball (as one sport) and squash, all made the short list to remain a part of the Olympic Games according to the Associated Press. Those three sports can continue to vie for one available spot in the games.
After giving closed door presentations to the committee, who later voted, Karate, Wushu, Wakeboarding, Roller Sports, and sport climbling were all eliminated from contention.
Following the IOC’s initial decision to drop wrestling, Raphael Martinetti resigned as FILA president and was replaced by Nenad Lalovic. Also, women and athletes were brought into decision-making roles.
Moreover, other possible changes to wrestling’s format include: adding two more women’s weight classes, doing away with singlets, adding music, lighting and visual effects to enhance the viewing experience. In addition, FOX News reported that changes include two three-minute sessions instead of three two-minute periods, and scoring will be cumulative instead of the previous best-of-three system.
In February, the IOC board voted to cut wrestling from the 25 core sports with the idea of making room for a new sport to be included in the 2020 games. Golf and rugby have both been added to the core for 2016.
The IOC executive board will submit wrestling, softball-baseball, and squash to the full IOC assembly on Sept. 8 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The assembly will determine which one of the three sports will remain.
For wrestling to be removed from the Olympic Games would be a travesty. In 708 B.C. wrestling first appeared in the ancient Olympic games and has been a part of the core sports. Iran, Russia and the United States have bonded together in effort to keep wrestling as a part of the Olympics.
The 2020 games could take place in either, Istanbul, Tokyo or Madrid.