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An End to Olympic Wrestling: What Do You Think?

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board wants to boot the sport from the 2020 games. We’d like to hear your thoughts on this, Tampa Bay!

High school wrestling and Tampa Bay practically go hand in hand.

From Brandon High School’s championship-winning program to Clearwater Olympian Jared Frayer, the sport and its loyal athletes make headlines both on the local and national level.

Now, the International Olympic Committee wants to drop this sport from its 2020 roster. The IOC’s executive board decided on Feb. 12 it no longer wanted to see Greco-Roman wrestling in the games.

While the executive board’s decision could be overturned later this summer, ESPN is reporting that isn’t likely to happen.

The problem, ESPN reports, is that wrestling just doesn’t have the following other sports do. Wrestling tickets didn’t sell out during the 2012 London Games and television audience numbers are also low, according to ESPN.

Even so, it can easily be argued that wrestling is a time-honored Olympic tradition — not to mention a Tampa Bay area favorite.

Wrestling was a part of the ancient Olympic Games and it was featured in the very first modern Olympics that were staged in 1896 in Athens. If the IOC’s decision stands, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games will be the sport’s last.

Here’s what we’d like to know from you, Tampa Bay: Do you agree with the IOC’s decision? Should wrestling be spiked from the Games? Or should it be left in as a testament to the competition’s roots? Share your comments below and also be sure to let us know about any local athletes whose aspirations have been dashed by the decision.

Michael D. February 15, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Warren, I agree with your point. And I'm not adovacing getting rid of any of these sports. But if you are going to ask me, would I choose Wrestling or one of the subjective scored sports which does including Olympic Boxing which is a sport I personally love. Then I would say Wrestling belongs before them, in the Olympcis.
Greg Giordano February 15, 2013 at 04:41 PM
I love the Olympics, as so many others do. It is an event in our house whenever the summer or winter games around. My kids look forward to them as much as I do. One of the great things about the Olympics is the blending of the old and the new. What other sporting event has both Greco-Roman Wrestling and Trampoline? One of the oldest sports in history and one of the newest to gain admittance to the Games. Wrestling, in fact, is one of the few sports that were around at the beginning of the Olympics. The sport exemplifies the international competiton as much as gymnastics or swimming do. Would the IOCC consider removing gymnastics from the line-up? Of course not. That sport, as does swimming, makes too much money. Admittedly I am not the biggest fan of wrestling but I can appreciate the sport. The athletes who compete are well trained, understand strategy and must have incredible stamina. If it wasn't for declining ticket sales would this classic sport even be considered for elimination from the Games? Instead of worrying about the profitability of this one sport, perhaps the IOCC should consider subsidizing this piece of athletic history. There are people, athletes and trainers, let alone their families and friends, who will be negatively impacted if this sport is stricken from the line-up.
LindaG. February 15, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Keep amateur, but PLEASE ban pro, if I think it's dumb it's dumb.
RD February 16, 2013 at 03:47 AM
I understood getting rid of baseball because few countries play the sport but they keep beach volleyball but get rid of wrestling, an international sport that's existed since the beginning of time? Yeah, a bunch of white men prefer girls in bkinis to men in hand to hand combat. Big surprise.
Samuel Clemens February 16, 2013 at 02:05 PM
I love how they blame ratings when the coverage is a joke. Thankfully we do not have cable, but that doesn't mean I am not aware of the joke that is the Olympics on NBC. With the technology today, we should be able to view more events than we are shown. We should be able to watch events in real time, not 17 week tape delayed. We should be able to watch more coverage of more sports......not forced to watch the same handful of sports every 4 years. Perhaps if the coverage was about the Olympics, opposed to generating revenue because of all the advertising, then wrestling would be more popular. I grew up around sports, both participating and coaching and when it comes to excitement, both from the event and the crowd, nothing compares to wrestling. I played football in front of thousands and it was peanuts compared to wrestling in front of 200 people. Perhaps the networks need to get join us in the 21st century. I guarantee they could have garnered so much attention for wrestling if they ever chose to do it. How many of you have ever heard of Cael Sanderson??

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