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Thread: Wrestling cut from Olympics!

  1. #1
    Administrator Jean-Paul's Avatar
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Are they fucking serious?

    Does anyone know what brought about this ridiculous new change by the Olypmic committee?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Funniest line about this photo from someone on Facebook: "I didn't know vampires could swim."

  3. #3

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    They drop wrestling but ice fishing is vying for a shot? And darts, miniature golf? Someone ought to slap some sense into the IOC.

  4. #4

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    The reason they decided to cut wrestling is that they don't make enough $$$ from it. Blame the spectators that prefer to watch vampires swimming or ice fishing (lol) instead of an ancient sport.

  5. #5

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    From what I've read, I don't think the decision was financial (at least not entirely). If it were solely financial, the pentathlon would be loooong gone!

  6. #6

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Quote Originally Posted by "missjane":36e9xn1w
    From what I've read, I don't think the decision was financial (at least not entirely). If it were solely financial, the pentathlon would be loooong gone!
    I have googled about it and couldn't find another reason. What did you find?

  7. #7
    DavidJ
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    The primary reason sports are in (or out) of the Olympics is the number of countries that participate in them (ie. bring athletes to a World Championships). Finances are secondary as is political clout, general popularity (market) and effectiveness of the sports international governing body.

    A number years ago the IOC was considering removing canoe/kayak from the program because fewer nations were participating in it. Their governing body, the International Canoe Federation (ICF), was in a fit about what to do and started programs in island nations that had a canoe culture to beef up the numbers. At the time, the Soviet Union (a power house in canoe/kayak) broke up and what was one country participating in the sport at a high level overnight became 6 or 8 all participating at a high level...problem solved. That 'crisis' also kick started the ICF to promote their sports and fund program development in countries where it did not exist.

    I suspect wrestling may have benefited at that time as well since it is popular in 'eastern' European countries. However, I have read that the international governing body for wrestling for years has not been a strong caretaker of the sport and the current situation is the result.

    On an unrelated note, I attended a USOC conference a number of years ago at their Colorado Springs training center and couldn't figure out what these somewhat unfit people in uniforms with big hair were there for. Turns out they were bowlers...yes bowlers! Bowling is in the Pan American games program and therefore under USOC oversight. I had a lunch ruined by a bowling evangelist trying to recruit me to his team. He had been working to get bowling onto the Olympic Games program for 15 years. Bowling has to be more than a few steps lower on the ladder of athleticism than synchronized swimming.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    He had been working to get bowling onto the Olympic Games program for 15 years.
    Funny!

    Bowling exploded in popularity in the '50s, especially in Spanish-speaking countries, for some reason. Hunter S. Thompson covered bowling as one of his first paid sportswriting jobs. Interesting that it still has its constituency pushing that giant bowling ball uphill.

    The whole time I was at Weider in the '90s, Ben Weider was on a mission to get bodybuilding into the Olympics. He wined and dined and lobbied the IOC guys, up to and including Juan Antonio Samaranch.

    I guess nobody ever told the Weiders that bodybuilding in the Olympics was one of the stupidest ideas ever.

  9. #9

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    I dunno. Maybe if bodybuilders had bits in their mouths and were made to trot and canter, the IOC guys might have been a bit more receptive.

  10. #10

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Quote Originally Posted by "DavidJ":3bjxzqa7
    On an unrelated note, I attended a USOC conference a number of years ago at their Colorado Springs training center and couldn't figure out what these somewhat unfit people in uniforms with big hair were there for. Turns out they were bowlers...yes bowlers! Bowling is in the Pan American games program and therefore under USOC oversight. I had a lunch ruined by a bowling evangelist trying to recruit me to his team. He had been working to get bowling onto the Olympic Games program for 15 years. Bowling has to be more than a few steps lower on the ladder of athleticism than synchronized swimming.
    I actually think those synchronized swimmers seem pretty darn athletic...they just LOOK really stupid doing it. I think those girls who run around on the mat twirling a ribbon are the worst! Worse than bowling! lol

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    The primary reason sports are in (or out) of the Olympics is the number of countries that participate in them (ie. bring athletes to a World Championships). Finances are secondary as is political clout, general popularity (market) and effectiveness of the sports international governing body.

    A number years ago the IOC was considering removing canoe/kayak from the program because fewer nations were participating in it. Their governing body, the International Canoe Federation (ICF), was in a fit about what to do and started programs in island nations that had a canoe culture to beef up the numbers. At the time, the Soviet Union (a power house in canoe/kayak) broke up and what was one country participating in the sport at a high level overnight became 6 or 8 all participating at a high level...problem solved. That 'crisis' also kick started the ICF to promote their sports and fund program development in countries where it did not exist.

    I suspect wrestling may have benefited at that time as well since it is popular in 'eastern' European countries. However, I have read that the international governing body for wrestling for years has not been a strong caretaker of the sport and the current situation is the result.
    Circling back to the original point of the post, this is the best explanation I've seen. Although I admit I lost interest shortly after the news broke.

    From a fan's perspective, I think the big question is something like this: What would I drop everything to watch? My answer is different every 4 years. It really depends on which event offers the greatest chance to see something historic or otherwise unique. And even then, it's usually the chance to see an American athlete or team do something exciting.

    That's why I watched hockey in 1980 and women's soccer in 2012. I obsessively followed Dan Gable in wrestling in 1972, Mark Spitz in swimming in '72 and Michael Phelps in 2008, the U.S. boxing team in '76 (Sugar Ray Leonard, the Spinks brothers) ... I could go on.

    Big point, I can't imagine a time when I would drop everything to watch the finals of a made-up sport like rhythmic gymnastics, or synchronized swimming, or whatever you call all those stunt events they added to the winter Olympics. Even if there was a great story in the making, I'd have no point of comparison, no context.

  12. #12
    DavidJ
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Good points Lou...I totally agree. Each Olympic Games brings epic wins and loses and incredible stories. However, these stories seldom come out of the stunt sports but we often miss them when they come out of the minor spots that our 'ball centric' US sports culture seldom recognize.

    There was Rulon Gardner's victory over Alexandre Kareline in 2000 in Roman Greco wrestling. The Russian, Kareline had never been beaten in international competition over a very long career that include at least 8 world championships. At the Athens Games in 2004 I saw Bridget Fischer of Germany win a gold medal in the women's K-4 500 meter event at the age of 42 (mother of two) with three young women in their 20's in the seats behind her. I swear that she somehow levitated that boat a few millimeters ahead of the Germans to win. It was her 7th Olympic Games and 12th Olympic medal. I was in Istanbul the first week of the 2004 Games and watched the citizens in the street go crazy over a female Turkish lifter who won a gold medal.

    I don't think we will see these kinds of stories come out of rythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, or whatever they do galloping around on horses, or flipping around in the snow.

  13. #13

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    You all keep giving rhythmic gymnastics a hard time when I think it's perfectly obvious why the council keeps it going and thinks it will generate good television ratings (although the point was valid that popularity isn't the primary consideration) :


  14. #14
    DavidJ
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    The allocation of athlete spots for different sports and sport disciplines can get real complicated. The IOC determines the total number of athlete spots (around 10,000) and then allocates a portion of that number to each sport. The international governing body for each sport has a lot of say in how those spots get allocated ti the disciplines within the sport and the events within the discipline. For example, rhythmic gymnastics falls under gymnastics. Gymnastics did not get more athlete spots when they added the rhythmic discipline to the Olympic program. They had to pull spots from other gymnastic disciplines and/or change the number of athletes that could participate in an event. The addition of women's events to what have traditionally been mens sports (boxing, weightlifting) also results in fewer spots for men.

    I think this all works to pressure a sport to get the 'right' combination of sport disciplines in their Olympic 'package' to showcase their athletes to as wide an audience as possible to attract new recruits and help their sport succeed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Quote Originally Posted by "DavidJ":359vxy2j
    The allocation of athlete spots for different sports and sport disciplines can get real complicated. The IOC determines the total number of athlete spots (around 10,000) and then allocates a portion of that number to each sport. The international governing body for each sport has a lot of say in how those spots get allocated ti the disciplines within the sport and the events within the discipline. For example, rhythmic gymnastics falls under gymnastics. Gymnastics did not get more athlete spots when they added the rhythmic discipline to the Olympic program. They had to pull spots from other gymnastic disciplines and/or change the number of athletes that could participate in an event. The addition of women's events to what have traditionally been mens sports (boxing, weightlifting) also results in fewer spots for men.

    I think this all works to pressure a sport to get the 'right' combination of sport disciplines in their Olympic 'package' to showcase their athletes to as wide an audience as possible to attract new recruits and help their sport succeed.
    I didn't know that. I thought the # of athletes expanded when new sports were added.

    You all keep giving rhythmic gymnastics a hard time when I think it's perfectly obvious why the council keeps it going and thinks it will generate good television ratings
    Speaking of soft-core porn:

    We watch figure skating every 4 years (Kimberly is a big fan). Just when I think I'm beginning to understand the scoring, they change something. One year they added a move that amounted to, I shit you not, the female skaters shooting a beaver at the judges. Lift a leg, abduct, hold it straight, and throw in a posterior pelvic tilt for good measure.

    Of course everything's buried under stockings and a leotard, but still, I feel vaguely creepy every time I see it, and imagine what the judges were thinking when they made it mandatory.

  16. #16

    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Well if that's the case Lou - those wrestling singlets are pretty tight, so either there are no women or gay people in a position of power in the IOC, or wrestlers need to start stuffing some socks down there.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lou Schuler's Avatar
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    Wrestling cut from Olympics!

    Quote Originally Posted by "kuri":2qepoogr
    Well if that's the case Lou - those wrestling singlets are pretty tight, so either there are no women or gay people in a position of power in the IOC, or wrestlers need to start stuffing some socks down there.
    Ha!

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