The decision to drop Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling in the Olympic was tragically made by a secret ballot by the Olympic committee’s 15-member executive board at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The exact vote and the reasons for such a decision were not given in detail nor was there any transparency in its so called democratic voting process.
The Olympic Games represent the ultimate sporting achievement of amateur excellence, where champions can maximize optimal human performance. What was once the message of goodwill where each Olympian brought a great narrative of challenge, risk, failure, triumph, and hope where now its games are accused of being merchants who cater to money and win at any costs philosophy? Once the Olympic narrative and its stories had the potential to inspire people around the world to dream the dreams of impressive feats yet now these aspiration have been replaced with nothing other than broken dreams. Today the Olympic Games have become s synonymous with controversial BALCO dope scandals, racism and boycotts by countries?
It was the Ancients who first created the Olympic Games as a value lesson who taught the universal virtues of wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence, Now the games and its Modern merchants of the IOC and its world wide wrestling corrupt organization FILA presents itself as a firm which masquerades’ as an agency of principle presented on the world stage of appearance, now standing only for gratuitous selfishness.
In summary there are many factors which have contributed to the demise of Wrestling in our country and abroad and its list is endless in America colleges many recall Title 9 which sought to level the playing field of gender equity sport. Lets not ever forget the Olympics who has chosen to embrace crass commercialism with its sell out NBA All Stars at the Olympics, The IOC has selectively chosen to favor a Modern Olympics as a professional platform with its obvious initiative to celebrate million dollar revenue along with casting the kult of personalities. The value lesson shared to its youth is this; that it is far easier to sell and market a sport of superstars than no bodies.
There has been widespread criticism by intellectual property right lawyers who have questioned whether the IOC has ever fulfilled its obligation to make use of the trademark of the Olympics.
There are even speculative reports in existence which demonstrates double digit percentage growth in showcasing other combative martial art forms and activities. Many reports and discussions although difficult to prove have believed that the FILA and its organization body have selectively considered other martial art forms as a viable sport for years. There is speculation that the IOC will have its panoptic eyes on the Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC in pursuing multi million dollar revenue and worldwide audience…
Critics have questioned for years that in order for the sport of Olympic wrestling to survive it must change and evolve with the time. The IOC demanded and instituted a much needed review of all its Olympic Sports in requesting changes. Again the FILA as wrestling representative body were not able to neither provide changes nor meet its deadlines. Sadly the sport of wrestling and its athletes was sacrificed at the stake…
Although Wrestling’s world governing body, known by its initials as FILA and based in Switzerland, stated that it was “greatly astonished” by Tuesday’s decision and would take “all necessary measures” to persuade the I.O.C. to keep the sport in the Summer Games. The FILA as an organization has been the subject of numerous scandals and controversies. Novogratz recently stated in a press report that the organization is ineffectual and its leadership should be terminated immediately. Behind the scenes and in retrospective it was obvious that the FILA never represented the interest of wrestling…
When news broke that the International Olympic Committee had opted to drop amateur wrestling from the Olympic Games, effective 2020, combat sports fans expressed their shock and disbelief at the decision.
Eric Akin, a former two-time Olympic alternate, 1999 World Team Member, and silver medalist at the 2000 World Cup, who won silver at the world championships, showed no surprise at the decision.
“The IOC said they were fed up with the controversies with the FILA,” explained Akin. “They’ve been warned FILA for 3 Olympics. In 2008, a Greco-Roman wrestler threw his bronze medal across the arena at the awards ceremony. It was because he took two raw calls, two Olympics in a row. He can’t come back.”
Akin stated, “I think (the IOC is) just fed up with what FILA is done. There have been a lot of bad reports after Olympics as many countries reported the FILA for different controversies. We kind of did it to ourselves because we let FILA control wrestling and everyone was afraid to step up. The Wrestler added, they just want to play the political game.”
Akin stated further that, “What wrestling really needs is a brand new governing body. I wouldn’t be surprised if the IOC says ‘FILA, you’re done.’ Wrestling needs to appoint itself a new governing body because it’s not FILA.”
Because of this lack of changes, many have predicted the all together dropping of Freestyle and Greco Roman Wrestling from Olympics 2020 as an inevitable reality. Many rule changes have made the sport difficult to follow for its fans and its clinch to determine its winner has made the sport of wrestling look like a cross between a magic tricks mixed in with a game of chance… Ricky Lundell FILA World Champion provided insight in sharing its crisis said, “Wrestling lost its magic now in search of an audience to restore its greatness and prominence.”
The great success of Professional Athletes who have entered the arena of the Olympics in winning Gold has affected the markets as well… NBA Multi millionaires star Athletes like Kobe Bryant in the Olympics along with its Tennis and Golf stars that make millions were given amateur status which resulted in the Olympics losing its legitimacy and credibility. The Ancient shared that the Olympic were created for instruction. The Greek Value of Amateur sport maintained the principle of virtues, Today that lesson is virtually all but gone as Money and its profit has killed off Amateur sport and its principle. The IOC gave its ultimatum to FILA; in instituting new changes in Olympic Wrestling to meet the demands of its new markets. The FILA never met those implemented changes or as deadlines.
Sadly this is not a new war, as the decision and its initiative is a war of ideological dilemmas’, ‘ this is a Battle of CLASSES where the Olympic Wrestling and its value of Equality are being challenged by Elitism and its select class.
When there are million dollars at stake big business buy and sells predictions… Big Business as speculation has predicted the end of wrestling with the market as proof has dictated that other sports are simply more commercially viable. The realities of the new markets are being dictated by money as its new criteria which are the motive behind the IOC’s decision to initiate its review.
Because of the vote to eliminate Olympic wrestling has produced immediate and widespread criticism across the globe, I predict a new hybrid form of combative art will be restored to the great Olympic stage which will be marketed as a folk style form of wrestling.
To summarize what FILA could not provide the American wrestling community we need to implement changes for the times in defining our new sport. Few know that Greco and Freestyle wrestling is only a recent tradition to the many combative art forms which have been in existence before the 1950’s. The Sport of Catch can or submission or grappling wrestling was well respected and accepted across the land. Historians have noted that many turn of the century wrestlers were practitioners of mixed martial art form known as submission grappling. Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt, Jackson and Abraham Lincoln also practiced a form of submission wrestling known as Catch Can.
The new combative sport of grappling will understand the importance of public relation it will integrative its dynamic form into the MMA as it will be a hybrid. In defense of Catch wrestling which is a classical hybrid grappling style which was first developed in Britain circa 1870 by Mr. J. G. Chambers then later refined & popularized by the wrestlers of traveling carnivals in America who developed their own submission holds, or “hooks”, into their wrestling to increase their effectiveness against their opponents.
A war of attrition awaits as nations have begun to take sides where Russia with its Eastern block and Middle Eastern countries will stage a war of opinion to have their say in defining the new combative art form and its discipline, One can read the signs on the wall as there is no need to look no further than referencing their own Folk style grappling and its forms. Many sources are numerous to mention Submission Wrestling from America, Sambo from Russia, and Jiu Jitzu from Brazil etc. Each country has its own individual folk wrestling styles and forms. Even Catch wrestling which derives from a number of different styles, is derivative from the English and its United Kingdom tradition with its style’s of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, Cornwall and Devon wrestling, Lancashire wrestling. The Irish has its collar-and-elbow wrestling, as well as the integration of Greco Roman wrestling, Japanese Judo & Ju jitsu, styles of the Indian subcontinent such as Pehlwani and Iranian styles such as Varzesh-e Pahlavani.
These are the integrative styles which will be sourced and referenced in defining the new combative form of wrestling which will be presented by the IOC to the Olympic stage… What ever its form a new combative sport will be introduced which will be better and significant to the time as the IOC released will, “relevant to sports fans of all generations.”
Mark Adams, the spokesman for the I.O.C. who stated, in meeting with reporters in Lausanne that Tuesday’s vote was a “process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics.” The IOC will present a combative art form and its contest which is packaged as a sport of renewal and follow great tradition. The combative sport I believe will be a derivative and sourced from diverse combative art forms finally and connected to the Mixed Martial Arts for economic reasons. The IOC gave FILA an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Olympic styles yet its organization failed within days of the announcement, the President Martinetti of FILA as Director for its governing body organization resigned.
History reveals that when Catch or grappling submission wrestling reached the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century it became extremely popular with the Wrestlers of the carnivals. The carnival’s wrestlers challenged the locals as part of the carnival’s “athletic show” and the locals had their chance to win cash reward if they could defeat the carnival’s strongman by a pin or a submission. Eventually, the carnival’s wrestlers began preparing for the worst kind of unarmed assault and aiming to end the wrestling match with any tough local quickly and decisively via submission. A hook was a technical submission which could end a match within seconds. As carnival wrestlers traveled, they met with a variety of people, learning and using techniques from various other folk wrestling disciplines, especially Irish Collar & Elbow, many of which were accessible due to a huge influx of immigrants in the United States during this era.
Further back in the annals of History, Pankration was a martial art sport which was successfully introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and founded as a mélange of boxing and wrestling but without any rules. The only things not acceptable were biting and gouging of the opponent’s eyes. The term comes from the Greek παγκράτιον [paŋkrátion], literally meaning “all powers” from πᾶν (pan-) “all” + κράτος (kratos) “strength, power”. The world has always had wrestling in one form or another it’s this particular form with its rules which is sadly not working for the IOC.
Finally adding more insult to injury the IOC has introduced the elite sport of Pentathlon in place of wrestling. Politics has reared its ugly head to return to play out a role in the decision of the IOC. The sports which survived the cut were modern pentathlon even so much less popular than wrestling. But modern pentathlon is the sport of the very wealthy presented as a five-event sport as the sport was invented by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Games. And it is supported by Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., son of a former I.O.C. president and a member of its executive board.
The Pentathlon also introduced the mad killer named John DuPont who was an Olympic Pentathlete who killed America’s greatest wrestler, the Gold Medalist Olympian Dave Schultz on a cold morning in Jan, 1996. In addition Sports like snowboarding have now been added to the Winter Games in broadening its appeal. Golf and rugby will return to the 2016 Rio Games after long absences. Among the sport that wrestling must compete with in consideration of any inclusivity will be rock climbing, rollerblading and wakeboarding.
The question remains where has principles ever withstood the challenge of profit and mammon? The IOC on Tuesday has voted with their feet while their hands are lined in their pockets in making a radical decision of dropping Olympic Wrestling as a significance which is to move away from the integrity of amateur sports and its principles in selecting a combative sport where monetization commodity, and the kult of personality reigns. A New Sport will be introduced to the world whose names and rules are yet to be defined but will be a sport of status which will be selected whose commercial viability is imposed and its economical brand is well recognized. Yes we can blame the FILA but its Money and economics which makes the world go round and sadly wrestling as our sport has not made the cut. This is the message of the Modern IOC and its Olympics committee who has established the criteria which favors profit over principle.
With the advent of modern commercialism which has all but invaded the Olympics we have now lost the true value of the spirit of amateur sport and its principles, Today we have Athletes who as its participant whose income is akin to millions. Lets consider the recent star of the Olympics Professional Tennis Player Roger Federer whose yearly earnings is estimated to be at $54.3 million, In sarcasm Federer is not considered a professional where he was awarded his amateur status in winning a gold medal in doubles for USA at the 2008 Beijing Games. Olympic-style wrestling, with its principles of virtues maintains the integrity of amateur roots and its lack of visibility does not have superstars like Lionel Messi in soccer, or Kobe Bryant in basketball, or Tiger Woods in golf and the famous Jamaican Usain Bolt in track, Never rule out the possibility that there may come a day when UFC stars will compete in the Olympics.
UFC President Dana White wasn’t surprised that wrestling was eliminated from the 2020 Olympic Games, according to a Feb. 13 report from MMA Junkie. White even went further to say that “wrestling demise could be MMA gain” adding, “nobody watches the sport…”
Mark Adams in conclusion added: “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.”
The IOC believes that Olympic Wrestling was not right for the time which favors great income as opposed to the greater principle outcome…
Phantom Street Artist
Questioning Our Kulture in Question…