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One down, one to go - Wrestling makes the cut for sudden death vote in September

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Author: Aaron Steed

Contact Aaron Steed

Tags: Meathead History

Stone Carving of Wrestlers

One down, one to go: Wrestling makes the cut for sudden death vote in September

Congrats to all our friends and legislators who have raised awareness about the International Olympic Committee’s decision earlier this year to cut wrestling from

We’ve raised our voices, feverishly written emails, and gotten on the horn to our friends, families, and lawmakers to tell the IOC what we think of that decision.

Well, my friends, it looks like our cries haven’t fallen upon deaf ears.

On May 29, the IOC announced that its executive board, which just wrapped up the first of a three-day symposium, voted to make wrestling one of three previously cut sports to go before the full IOC membership in September for a final vote on whether or not it will be among the 25 core sports featured in the 2020 Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The IOC announced that during the executive board meeting, the board selected wrestling, squash, and baseball/softball as the three sports do go to sudden death at the IOC’s 125th session in Buenos Aires between Sept. 7-10. Those that didn’t make the cut include karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding, and wushu.

That vote was done by secret ballot following 30-minute presentations by each International Federation and an “extensive” evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission to “determine their potential added value to the Games,” according to a release.

Potential added value? Added from what? Olympics has always been a solid foundation of the Olympic Games, guys! It’s only one of the original Olympic sports. Sheesh!

We shot the IOC an email for a little elaboration, but they haven’t gotten back to us yet. However, the IOC president wrote in the press release that he wishes wrestling “the best of luck.”

“The Executive Board received excellent presentations today from eight International Federations,” IOC President Jacques Rogge wrote. “It was never going to be an easy decision but I feel my colleagues on the Board made a good decision in selecting baseball/softball, squash and wrestling to be put forward in Buenos Aires. I wish the three short-listed sports the best of luck in the run-up to the vote in September and would like to thank the other sports for their hard work and dedication.”

We appreciate that, Jacques.

Olympic Wrestling

According to the IOC, they systematically review every core sport following each edition of the Olympic Games to ensure the ceremonies remain “relevant to sports fans of all generations.” It says it uses 39 criteria to determine a given sport’s “suitability,” including youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes, and respect for Olympic values.

That’s all well and good, but if that’s the case, why’d they cut wrestling in the first place?

Apparently, we’re not the only ones asking these questions. Of course, Meathead Movers is especially concerned with this issue because we truly believe in the importance of scholastic athletics and also because we know firsthand that wrestling is one of those sports that shapes us and millions of men and women around the world into hard-working and confident individuals.

But since April 15, 20 states have passed resolutions showing their similar support for wrestling as a featured Olympic sport, including California. Sen. Lou Correa, Democratic senator from California’s 34th District, which includes Anaheim, presented a similar on the state senate’s side, Senate Concurrent Resolution 26, which passed with a glorious 37-0 vote.

Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, our Republican from San Luis Obispo, is working on a similar resolution that’s making its way through the assembly.

But let’s not start whipping out the champagne just yet, guys.

Save Olympic Wrestilng

With all that said, it still wouldn’t hurt to keep the pressure up. Looks like the local efforts on the part of our friends and legislators has been working. Therefore, if you still believe wrestling belongs in the Olympics—like we do—please let the IOC hear your voice. Hound their press people at pressoffice@olympic.org. Or join the Facebook movement: http://www.facebook.com/officialkeepwrestlingintheolympics. Or visit USA Wrestling's official webpage: http://keepwrestlingintheolympics.com.

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