Wrestling dropped from the 2020 Olympics
Staff Sgt. Dremiel Byers wrestles Oleksandr Chernetskyi of Ukraine in the Olympic Greco-Roman 120-kilogram tournament at Beijing's 2008 Summer Games. (U.S. Army)
The International Olympic Committee has voted to drop wrestling – one of the oldest Olympic sports – from the 2020 games.
Wrestling, both freestyle and Greco-Roman, has been in the games since the modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.
The IOC board acted after reviewing the 26 sports on the current Olympic program. Eliminating one sport allows the International Olympic Committee to add a new sport to the program later this year, according to the Associated Press.
Wrestling was voted out from a group on the bubble that included the modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey, officials familiar with the vote told The Associated Press.
At last year’s London Olympics wrestling featured 344 athletes competing in 11 medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman. Women’s wrestling was added to the Olympics at the 2004 Athens Games.
Wrestling will now join seven other sports in applying for inclusion in 2020. The others are a combined bid from baseball and softball, plus karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. They will be vying for a single opening in 2020.
The last sports removed from the Olympics were baseball and softball, voted out by the IOC in 2005 and off the program since the 2008 Beijing Games. Golf and rugby will be joining the program at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
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