Olympic committee may eliminate wrestling from 2020 games

By O’Shaka Robinson, Sports Writer

Many people are disappointed with the International Olympic Committee’s recent decision to potentially eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Olympics, especially OCU wrestlers.

A sport that was in the first Olympic games and dates as far back as the Iliad may never again be a part of the Olympic games.

“Wrestling is the third event held at the funeral games honoring Patroclus, Achilles’ beloved friend in the Iliad,” President Robert Henry said. “Athletes came from all over Greece to participate in the great Olympics that began this tradition and wrestling was one of those very first sports.”

But Coach Archie Randall doesn’t think they will cut the sport. He said it is a political battle between the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, also known as FILA, and the IOC.

“With the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Canada, France, and Iran receiving the most medals on average, it’s pretty safe to assume that this decision is not final,” Randall said.

The Olympic committee voted to retain modern pentathlon in its 25 core sports after reviewing a commission report that analyzed 39 criteria, including television ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy, popularity, and global participation.

Randall said the decision would not affect men’s wrestling, but could potentially put an end to women’s wrestling.

Junior all-American Kristi Garr is hopeful that the committee will change its decision soon.

“A lot of our team was pretty emotional when we found out because it could possibly kill women’s wrestling,” Garr said. “It won’t directly affect me now because I plan to go to med school after I graduate and possibly train for 2016, but it just depends.”

The age for women competitors at the Olympics ranges from 26-31, which makes 2020 the biggest opportunity for students to have a shot at the games.

The Lady Stars finished as the Women’s College Wrestling Association runner-up this year. OCU also took a WCWA academic award this year with three members on the team receiving individual academic awards by maintaining 3.5 GPAs.

“The most important goal for our girls is to graduate from college and then continue on for their Olympic dream,” Randall said.

Wrestling will compete with seven other sports for the final spot in the 2020 Olympics, including baseball and softball, karate, wakeboarding and roller spots. The IOC will meet in Buenos Aires in September to view demonstrations from each sport.

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