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Wrestling on Final List of Sports to be Included in 2020 Olympics
We're not out of the woods yet, on the matter of Wrestling regaining its status as a permanent feature at the Olympic games, but this is good news nonetheless.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
The International Olympic Committee's executive board Wednesday selected wrestling, baseball-softball and squash as finalists for inclusion in the Games in 2020.
The announcement that wrestling, which dates to the ancient Olympics, had survived to a final round sent a roar in the conference hall in St. Petersburg, Russia, where members of FILA, wrestling's international federation, had made their case to the same group that had voted in February not to include wrestling in the group of 25 core sports guaranteed a spot in the 2020 Games.
Now the 100-member IOC will vote in September on which of the three sports to include in 2020.
"This decision recognizes the great lengths to which we are going to reform our sport and address the IOC's concerns," said Nenad Lalovic, president of FILA, in a statement released after the announcement.
Wrestling officials never thought they would be in such a precarious position, but the sport's resistance to change in recent years and inability to penetrate the internecine politics of the Olympic bureaucracy left it on the outside in February during the initial selection of the 2020 core sports. Despite its history, wrestling somehow lost out to several fringe events, such as modern pentathlon.
Wrestling is practiced in countries rich and poor, in dictatorships and democracies. It's massive in Judeo-Christian and Muslim nations alike. In London in 2012, 71 nations competed in wrestling and 29 won medals. Only running may be more diverse and accessible.
Full article at WSJ.com.