Wrestling in the Olympics – or not?

Wrestling may have been voted out of the Olympics.



By USA Wrestling


USA Wrestling has created these talking points for those in the wrestling community in our nation who may be speaking about our sport in light of today’s International Olympic Committee announcement (to eliminate wrestling from Olympic Games). Please read them carefully and refer to them in your public statements.

1) FILA, the international wrestling federation, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Wrestling did not expect this announcement. None of these leadership groups anticipated that wrestling was being considered for this.

2) This is a decision by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board. The recommendation is that wrestling not be included as a core sport at the 2020 Olympic Committee. This is not a final decision.

3) The next step is for the IOC Executive Board to recommend a sport for the final spot in the 2020 Olympics. Wrestling will be considered for the position along with seven other sports, which happens in May in St. Petersburg, Russia. Then, the next step is for the entire International Olympic Committee to vote on the final program for the 2020 Olympics, which occurs in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

4) This is an opportunity for wrestling to tell its story, not only to the International Olympic Committee leadership but also to the entire world.

5) Wrestling is one of the original sports in the ancient Olympic Games in Greece. Wrestling was also included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

6) Wrestling is one of the most diverse sports in the world, with nearly 200 nations from all continents participating in the sport.

7) Wrestling is an inclusive sport which provides opportunities worldwide, regardless of geography, race, gender or physical characteristics. Anybody can wrestle.

8) Among Olympic sports, wrestling has more variety of nations which win Olympic medals than almost every other sport. Wrestling is popular all around the world, and many nations have successful athletes and programs in the sport.

9) This is a challenge for the entire wrestling community on the world level. USA Wrestling, as the national governing body in the United States, is putting its full energy and resources behind this. We will work with our wrestling brothers and sisters everywhere on earth to maintain our sport on the Olympic program.

10) Wrestlers are known for their work ethic. As a community, we will work tirelessly from this point forward letting the world know about why wrestling is so special. We believe that we have the ability to be successful

11) Be honest. Explain why wrestling is so important to you, and also important to the world. Do not be negative or critical of the IOC. It is our job to make them our supporters and allies moving forward.

12) USA Wrestling’s Executive Committee, Board of Directors, staff and leaders are already involved working on this issue. We will continue to update the wrestling community about what is going on.

13) What can you do right now? Stay informed. Join “Keep Wrestling In the Olympics” Facebook page, which is can be found at Keep Wrestling in the Olympics Facebook Page Updates will be posted regularly.

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