One of the oldest sports in human history, wrestling has evolved from its Greco-Roman history in the 13th century to a modern-day spectacle in a variety of forms. From grade school, to Olympic events, this quintessential showing of strength has drawn millions of athletes to the sport from all over the world.
Once the executive board of the International Olympic Committee had voted to eliminate wrestling from the Summer Games beginning in 2020, an outcry of Olympic athletes was heard. Considering the fact that this sport was the founding event for the Olympic Games, it seems absurd to many that the Committee could make such a deplorable decision.
Most collegiate wrestlers dream of one day exceeding their athletic ability, and reaching levels higher than ever expected. The goal for these student athletes is typically competing in the Olympic Games. However, with the unfortunate truth that their goals may never be fulfilled, hundreds of thousands of wrestlers in school are forced to rethink their future aspirations. Freestyle and Greco-Roman style wrestling will still be contested at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janerio, but both will be dissolved before the 2020 Games unless the sport wins an appeal.
Numerous organizations are putting together protests and convincing arguments to attempt to persuade the IOC to abort their controversial decision. Many United States lawmakers are proceeding to take action, protests at universities are taking place nationwide, and wrestlers all over the world are refusing to accept this sitting down.
I graduated high school with a number of students whose goals included wrestling at the college level. While many NCAA student athletes go on to have successful jobs not in the athletic field, another demographic plans to further their athletic talents by entering professional sports. My graduating class consisted of a large number of students who dreamt of playing at a professional level, including wrestlers. With that option now in jeopardy, the outrage among these future stars is tremendous.
To put myself in their position, and to hypothetically be told that my future goals were unreachable, is absolutely devastating. I undoubtedly side with those opposed to the removal of wrestling from the Olympics, and hope that the decision is overturned before the 2020 Games.