International Olympic Committee Run By Wimpy Sore Losers
Today the International Olympic Committee announced that it was going to be removing wrestling from it’s list of competitive sports for the 2020 Olympics. When you look at the make-up of the IOC, it is not surprising that of all sports wrestling was the event that was dropped. Not because it wasn’t popular, but because the majority of IOC members come from nations that have either never or have no chance of producing a winning wrestling team.
When you read through the tally of nations who have won wrestling events in the Olympics, as well as other international wrestling competitions, the same nations have performed consistently, producing skilled athletes who have focused their time and energy, lost blood, and abused their bodies on a daily basis—most of them since childhood. The former Soviet Union was a powerhouse in the sport for decades, with the USSR’s former republics/nations still leading the world in wrestling, along with the United States, Iran, Sweden, Turkey, Japan, Finland and Germany.
The IOC, however, is comprised of every member nation, most of whom do have wrestling teams, but none of which spend as much money and effort on producing quality wrestlers like other nations. This begs the question—is the sport not that popular, or are the majority of IOC members just sore losers trying to get sports they have a better chance of winning into the Olympic roster of events?
I’ll go with the latter.
And quite honestly, this decision is a bunch of bull. It shows the pettiness and usual selfish politics that populate the world. If any sport deserves to be in the Olympics, it’s one of the world’s oldest (if not the oldest) sports. Wrestling is something youngsters by sheer nature do that can be harnessed and turned into a skill as they get older.
It pains me to think of all the young men and women around the world who have dedicated their life to this sport—particularly high schoolers and younger—and now have no chance to obtain and Olympic gold for their nation. For so many universities/colleges, high schools and junior highs, wrestling is a source of pride and community. It’s also one of the cheaper sports (as opposed to sailing, equestrian events, hockey, rowing, cycling, canoeing, etc) for schools and parents to afford and/or fund. Not to mention the skill and dedication it takes to turn just your body into a fighting, athletic machine. Wrestling requires no apparatus, no vehicle, no accoutrements of any kind. Just a body, a singlet, shoes and a soft place to get the job done.
With all of wrestling’s pros, it boggles the mind to even guess what the IOC will put in wrestling’s place? Jai Alai? Chess? Shopping? TV watching? The Olympics has been turning into nothing but a money-driven pop event anyway, trying to make celebrities instead of organically creating athletic role models for young people, especially in the U.S. where the most popular sport for young people is video gaming and eating garbage.
As an instructor for Penn State (Abington), I know one of our symbols of athletic prowess and pride is our wrestling team. Penn State wrestling is coached by Cael Sanderson, an Olympian who has lived his life for the sport, and he has inspired many young wrestlers to focus their skills not only on athletics, but on their education. Sanderson’s own Olympic gold has given his team members something to strive for–the ultimate in validation for any athlete who has dedicated their lives to a sport, particularly a sport that doesn’t have a national league that can guarantee young people a future career, unlike the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL (note: two of these sports aren’t Olympic events).
So thanks, IOC, for furthering the corporate garbage that passes for athleticism. Hope you sell more t-shirts and commemorative coins now that wrestling is out. And by the way—I, along with thousands (millions?) of people, am out of watching the Olympics from here on in, because I know IOC members have very little interested in bringing the world together through sport. They’d rather do it through TV ratings and merchandising.