Wrestling had 344 athletes participating in the 2012 Olympic Games. In 2020, it could have zero.
That's because the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Executive Board voted to have it cut from future events as it looks to overhaul the entire program, focusing on "popularity, finances, tickets sold and governance." That's a fancy way of saying they only want to include sports that make money.
"This is not the end of the process, this is purely a recommendation. It is the session which is sovereign. It was a decision to look at the core sports, what works best for the Olympic games. This was the best program for the 2020 Olympics. This is not about what's wrong with wrestling but what is good for the Games."
Wrestling will now have to apply for inclusion in the 2020 games, so if you want to see it, let your voice be heard. After all, the sport has been a major factor in the rise of elite mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters like Daniel Cormier and Ben Askren, both former Olympians.
Yahoo! Sports has more:
"Now wrestling will have to face off with seven other sports that are fighting for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. The list includes includes baseball and softball, which were dropped from the Olympics after Beijing in 2008 and sports trying to make the Olympics for the first time, including karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing,wake boarding and wushu. The Associated Press said it is 'extremely unlikely' that wrestling would be brought back so soon after the committee voted to eliminate it."
That's a fine how-do-ya-do for a sport that's been around since the beginning of time.
With high school and collegiate wrestlers running out of options following graduation, perhaps we can expect a greater influx of mat technicians into UFC and Bellator? Maybe, maybe not, but if wrestling is getting dropped from the Olympics, then what chance does MMA have?
Slim and none (and slim just took a bus to Albuquerque).