Mainstream: Removing the Mats - A Closer Look at the ICC's Decision to...

21.03.2013 | World News RSS

Mainstream: Removing the Mats - A Closer Look at the ICC's Decision to Drop Wrestling from the Olympics

Who has not heard of wrestling?No, not the WWE or TNA kind; that’s fake wrestling, I mean real wrestling--the kind with take-downs, submissions, and pins? Wehave a team that competes in real wrestling here at Paint Branch and, ever since its introduction in 708 BC at the Ancient Olympic Games, wrestling has been a major part of the Olympics.

What’s this got to dowith anything? Well, the fact is that, after the 2020 Summer Olympics, wrestling will be excluded from the games.

The decision made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on February 12, 2013 to exclude wrestling from the Olympic games sent a shockwave of disbelief, rage, and disappointment throughout the wrestling community. This decision has affected the high-school youth in Maryland, especially Good Counsel junior Kyle Snyder,who has had over 100 matches in his high-school tenure, never losing one of them. He was destined for Olympic wrestling greatness, but now, he has nowhere to go after college, where he will wrestle for the last time. According to the Washington Post article “For Good Counsel’s Kyle Snyder, IOC Decision was Punch to Gut” by Jahi Chikwendiu, Snyder was devastated when he heard the news.

“It was kind of shocking to me, that something I’ve dreamed about my entire life could just be taken away by a group of people for . . . for I’m not really sure the reason,” said the 220-pound, 3-time national prep champion.

This reaction isn’t common in only the U.S., as Global competitors such as Russia, Switzerland, and Germany were also shocked by this decision to exclude wrestling from the Olympics. Khason Baorev, 2004 Olympic Greco-Roman champion from Russia, was shocked, if not frustrated, when he spoke to Chikwendiu.

“I just can’t believe it. [And] what sport will then be added to the Olympic program? What sport is worthy of replacing ours?”

Several petitions have been started on, awebsite where several citizens from different countries across the globe have taken up petitions in order to change what they see as a problem with society: to keep wrestling in the Olympics.  The most popular one is by Clay Durham, a father whose son wrestles with a passion for the sport. His petition has approximately 57,000 signatures, 943,000 short of the required number for the president of the IOC to take action. According to Olympic Protocol, however, the IOC Executive Board alone has the authority to determine the protocol applicable at all sites and venues placed under the responsibility of the OCOG.

Some wrestlers at Paint Branch were astonished with the IOC’s decision. Seniors Chris Skipper, Garrett Smith, and Junior ChrisYoung were all taken aback by the choice: “It’s a poor decision. It doesn’t make any sense, especially when [the Olympics have] sports like equestrian, handball, and Ping-Pong that are not as exciting,” said Skipper. “This [decision] shows the corruptness of the IOC.”

The IOC Board will meet in May of this year to discuss what sports will be included or excluded in the Olympic Games in 2020.By then, the wrestling fans of the world will have spoken loud and clear on whether or not the International Olympic Committee should take away the mats.

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