Lausanne, Switzerland – The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday that it has recommended dropping wrestling as a sport from the 2020 Olympic Games.
Wrestling, governed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), will now join seven other sports that are fighting for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. The list includes baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu.
"We knew that today would be a tough day for American athletes competing in whatever sport was identified by the IOC Executive Board," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement. "Given the history and tradition of wrestling, and its popularity and universality, we were surprised when the decision was announced. It is important to remember that today's action is a recommendation, and we hope that there will be a meaningful opportunity to discuss the important role that wrestling plays in the sports landscape both in the United States and around the world. In the meantime, we will fully support USA Wrestling and its athletes."
The eight sports are scheduled to make presentations to the IOC executive board in St. Petersburg, Russia, in May. The board will pick which sport or sports to propose for 2020 inclusion, with the final vote being made at the IOC session, or general assembly, in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Wrestling, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.