Buenos Aires, Argentina – Wrestling will remain in the Olympics after a vote on Sunday to include the sport as part of the program for the 2020 and 2024 Games.
Wrestling has been part of every Olympics since the modern Games began in 1896, but the executive board of the International Olympic Committee decided seven months ago to remove it from the core group of sports after the 2016 Rio Games.
That meant wrestling had to compete to regain its status in the Olympics and said it would institute changes that would make the sport more appealing. The IOC's executive board in May decided to put it to a vote of the full membership, on the ballot with squash and baseball/softball, for inclusion in 2020 and 2024.
Wrestling won Sunday's balloting by a landslide, earning 49 of a possible 95 votes. Baseball/softball received 24 votes and squash garnered 22.
"I want to offer my sincere gratitude to each member of the International Olympic Committee that voted to save Olympic wrestling today," said Nenad Lalovic, president of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA). "With this vote, you have shown that the steps we have taken to improve our sport have made a difference. I assure each of you that our modernization will not stop now. We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic Movement that we can be."
Earlier Sunday, the IOC voted to ratify 25 core sports for the 2016 Games -- minus wrestling -- for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Tokyo was voted as the host for the 2020 Games on Saturday.