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Wrestling No Longer Olympic Sport as of 2020
The International Olympic Committee has decided that Wrestling, the ancient sport and suggested root of all Martial Arts, will no longer be a part of the Olympics as of 2020.
The IOC's recommendation comes largely as a result of a business decision based on ticket sales, and the fact that Wrestling does not have a strong group of supporters on the committee, unlike Taekwondo and Pentathlon.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams explained the recommendation:
"It was a decision to look at the core sports, what works best for the Olympic games. This was the best program for the 2020 Olympics. This is not about what's wrong with wrestling but what is good for the Games."
All hope for the sport is not lost, as the recommendation must be put to a vote in September when the IOC reconvenes. However, experts do not believe a reprieve is likely.
How this affects the pushes to include Brazilian Jiujitsu and Mixed Martial Arts in the games, remains to be seen. There was a strong effort a little over a decade ago, to revive Pankration as an Olympic sport, which ultimately failed.
Observers have accused the IOC's politics on which sports are included in the games as being highly charged with nationalism, but the decision does not appear to have been as affected by this as much as other factors.
Regardless, it remains to be seen if Wrestling's 2000+ year Olympic history will come to an end, in September, and athletes like Aleksander Karelin, never to compete again for Olympic gold.