By Corey J. Corbin
Allied News Sports Columnist
I WANT TO GET something off my chest right away.
I never wrestled nor has anyone I am related to, but I enjoy the sport.
It takes a special person to want to wrestle on a full-time basis.
Remember this is a sport where you have to watch what you eat, stay properly hydrated (otherwise you can’t compete. No other sport has this caveat), be in tremendous shape and be willing to have your body contorted in all kinds of crazy ways.
That’s certainly not me.
I have no problems staying in shape, watching what I eat or staying properly hydrated. I just want my arms and legs bent and pulled as often as grappler do on a consistent basis.
Like I said, that’s not for me, but I have a ton of respect for people who do.
My respect for them and their sport left me flabbergasted when I heard the International Olympic Committee decided to drop wrestling from the 2020 Summer Olympics.
It was a similar reaction to the IOC dropping baseball and softball a few years back.
I just don’t get how you can drop a sport that has been part of the Olympic games since the inaugural modern games in Athens, Greece back in 1896.
“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the Associated Press. “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.”
So a trivial sport that combines shooting, swimming, fencing and horseback riding is a better fit than a sport with a larger popularity base?
I’m not saying wrestling, which combines Greco-Roman and Freestyle events, has the popularity of gymnastics, ice skating, basketball or swimming, but you’re more likely to pull someone in to watch wrestling than the modern pentathalon, which is supposed to be modeled after a 19th century soldier’s skill set.
Wrestling enthusiasts can hold out hope that the sport can regain admission into the Olympic program, but must battle sports such as baseball, softball and roller sports to do so.
Plus, I find it highly unlikely it’d be granted re-admission so soon after being dropped.
“(Tues)day’s decision is not final,” Adams said. “The session is sovereign and the session will make the final decision.”
It’s too bad they to put wrestling in such a perilous position instead of other sports.
Agree, disagree or just want to comment? Contact Corey at firstname.lastname@example.org.