“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Saturday, 16 February 2013

IOC toss out wrestling.

If the IOC get their way wrestling will no longer be a part of the Olympic Games. It seems incredible that  bureaucrats can, at the stroke of a pen or the click of a mouse, discard one of the original Olympic sports. Wrestling has a history that dates back to ancient Greece, has been integral part of almost all societies and of course was one of the founding sports of the modern Olympic movement. But such are the commercial and political pressures in today's Games who knows what machinations have taken place behind closed doors. Wrestling is not the most natural of spectator sports it's true. The general public may find the idea of watching wrestling appealing but the reality can be difficult to understand and even dull. That is of course why professional wrestling evolved the way that it did. Having said all that can wrestling really be less interesting to watch than air pistol shooting or dressage? Of course there will be a form of wrestling in future Olympics - judo. The history of judo is one not just of a sport but of a physical education system with a huge amount of political clout. The judo movement has always distanced itself from wrestling and indeed many of the early practitioners denied that it was a sport at all. Yes, it may be goodbye to Freestyle and Greco-Roman but the future of Olympic Judo is assured.
I feel sorry for the young wrestlers who, thanks to commercial and political interests that they have no control over, will be denied the pleasure of Olympic competition. There is some consolation however in knowing that people have wrestled since long before the dawn of written history and that youngsters will be coming to grips and testing themselves against each other long after the IOC has been forgotten.

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