Pinning down the IOC for dropping wrestling as an Olympic sport

Let’s get ready to RUMMM-BLE!

In this corner, from parts unknown, the International Olympic Committee (your cue to boo).

And in this corner, weighing way to much, the challenger, ME (thunderous applause and no fat jokes please)!

This is a no-holds barred grudge match over the IOC’s decision to drop wrestling from its list of sanctioned sports in 2020.

You could have knocked me down with a folding chair when I heard the news Tuesday, just as our local wrestlers prepare for the state championships this weekend. Kids train from an early age with the dream of representing their countries on the mat.

As a former wrestler and a fan of the sport, it’s hard to imagine the Olympics without it. In fact, wrestling has been a part of the Games since its modern-day revival in 1896.

It was also a part of the original Olympics, and the Greco-Roman tradition continues in the modern Games. It’s one of the truest mano-a-mano contests of strength, stamina, will and character.

Furthermore, using the IOC’s criteria, it also happens to be one of the most widespread sports around the world, with different disciplines and modern techniques creating the freestyle form most of us are familiar.

We’re talking about wrestling, not rasslin’, and the ancient sport belongs in the Olympics way before synchronized dancing, curling and some of the other inane games that pass themselves off as sports.

I had a similar reaction to the IOC’s decision to drop baseball and softball from the menu a few years ago, especially since the diamond sport is as popular in South America and the Far East as it is in the United States.

But dropping wrestling is like losing the 100 meters or the decathalon; they are the Olympics. Barring a last-ditch reprieve at September meeting, wrestling will go the way of ballroom dancing – down for the count.

Someone must have put the IOC in a sleeper hold to make this move. That’s why I’m coming off the top rope to put a flying pancake (or flopping poundcake; sorry, I couldn’t resist) on the IOC until they tap out for some common sense.

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