I recently noticed that Wrestling was scheduled to be removed from the 2020 Summer Olympics. In the meantime, the International Olympic Committee has reversed this decision; the 125th IOC Session reinstated the sport, and so it will be part of the program for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Wrestling is widely practiced, was part of the Ancient Olympic Games, and was played in most Modern Olympics.

Why was it decided to remove Wrestling?

  • Isn't it crazy that horse dancing is in the Olympics, yet they talked about removing the OG Olympics sport, and possibly the greatest and most effective martial art of all time. Is it permanently reinstated? Or will this come up again every four years? – coinbird May 24 at 20:27
  • @coinbird Everything is always on the chopping block, just some closer to the blade than others. Gotta make room for E-Sports, and can't have more than x number.. SMH – Jammin4CO May 29 at 13:27
  • @Jammin4CO - Logistics aside, putting all current sports (Wrestling, boxing, tkd, etc) under a single sport heading (Combat sports?) and making them events would open up a lot of room under the current sport/event rule structure. (Much like aquatics covers swimming, diving, synchro, water polo, etc) – JohnP Sep 7 at 16:04

Long story short, they wanted to drop one sport so that they could add another, and they cited low ticket sales, low popularity, low TV ratings, and a lack of oversight and diversity.

The board voted after reviewing a report by the IOC program commission that analyzed 39 criteria, including TV ratings, ticket sales, anti-doping policy and global participation and popularity. With no official rankings or recommendations contained in the report, the final decision by the 15-member board was also subject to political, emotional and sentimental factors.

"This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It's not a case of what's wrong with wrestling; it is what's right with the 25 core sports."

According to IOC documents obtained by the AP, wrestling ranked "low" in several of the technical criteria, including popularity with the public at the London Games -- just below 5 on a scale of 10. Wrestling sold 113,851 tickets in London out of 116,854 available.

Wrestling also ranked "low" in global TV audience with a maximum of 58.5 million viewers and an average of 23 million, the documents show. Internet hits and press coverage were also ranked as low.

The IOC also noted that FILA -- the international wrestling federation -- has no athletes on its decision-making bodies, no women's commission, no ethics rules for technical officials and no medical official on its executive board.

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    I have no basis for this claim so it is a comment. The statistics quoted on popularity would be greatly skewed by the screen time given by the service provider. If there is not a story on wrestling, I can't click on it. I guarantee* the staffing and equipment provided to cover gymnastics & wrestling were proportional to the statistical "popularity". Therefore this is decided by the TV/Internet editors of major networks, not by IOC; they are just following the data. If all sports were promoted fairly, you could rely on the ratings. – Jammin4CO May 24 at 18:04
  • @Jammin4CO: Frankly, the ESPN article makes it clear that it was far from an objective decision, with most of the statistics being added afterwards to justify their decision. – Sean Duggan May 24 at 19:36

I think some European and South American countries are not good at wrestling; they don't get medals in Olympic games. Also, the Olympic committee members are not aware of wrestling's sport value so they take the decision to remove wrestling from the Olympic games for another sport. In the same Games, they have taken so many events.

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    Whilst some of this may be true - this answer appears as speculation - can you provide articles/references to back up your claims as per the other (highly voted) answer? in its current form it is likely to attract downvotes – Collett89 Sep 7 at 7:08

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