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IOC plays down wrestling axe after global uproar: Fans, sports world, public in shock


IOC plays down wrestling axe after global uproar: Fans, sports world, public in shock - Feb 2013

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IOC plays down wrestling axe after global uproar: Fans, sports world, public in shock...

The Media Man www.mediamanint.com network report on this most shocking of announcements from the IOC.

The shock recommendation to drop wrestling from the Olympics has angered athletes, officials,fans and news media companies around the world and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) played down the finality of its decision on Wednesday.

Even the world of pro wrestling is upset, with TNA Wrestling being very vocal, and strong rumours that even the WWE - the pro wrestling - sports entertainment giant may even become a major part of the campaign to get wrestling back to the Olympics for good.

The IOC's 15-member executive board voted on Tuesday to recommend that the sport be dropped from the 2020 Olympic program, with a final decision resting with the IOC session in September in Buenos Aires.

The vote prompted an instant wave of protest and anger from the sport's global community with the international federation (FILA) calling it an aberration, petitions launched with the United States White House and on-line wrestling support groups signing up thousands of supporters.

India's government said on Wednesday it would seek the support of other countries where wrestling is popular to help the sport remain an Olympic discipline.

"These reactions, they are quite normal," IOC Vice President Thomas Bach told reporters. "This would have happened with any decision. You have to find the right balance between tradition and progress.

"This was a decision about core sports and nothing more," he said of Tuesday's vote that cut the core Olympic sports from 26 to 25, leaving out wrestling.

"I am happy about FILA's reaction, to draw up a plan to act. That is the right way. Keep in mind a final decision has not yet been taken. If they (FILA) continue like that they will win a lot of sympathies," said Bach, a potential presidential candidate later this year.

The IOC's executive board will decide in St Petersburg in May to decide which of eight candidate sports, including wrestling, will be put forward to win the spot left vacant for the 2020 Games.

It will then put its recommendation for the 25 core sports and the new entry to a vote at its session in Argentina.

"It was always going to be a painful decision," said IOC member and head of the organization's finance commission Richard Carrion, also a potential presidential candidate.

"No matter what we do, it will be criticized by someone," said Puerto Rican Carrion, whose country won a silver medal in wrestling at the London 2012 Olympics, one of two medals overall.

"From a personal point of view I am sad. I have become attached to the wrestling club (in Puerto Rico) which doesn't even have a regulation-size mat and still managed to send three athletes to the Games."

For Juan Antonio Samaranch Junior, who is both an executive board member and a modern pentathlon vice-president, the decision was a good one.

"I am very sorry for wrestling as it is a sport I respect," the son of former IOC president Samaranch, told reporters.

"I cannot be surprised by the reaction because any sport would have created the same reaction."

Wrestling's surprise exit has been blamed by some on a lack of political support within the executive board, where other sports at risk - including modern pentathlon and taekwondo - had the upper hand with representatives in the 15-member group.

Asked whether his double capacity was a conflict of interest, Samaranch said: "I am here in my capacity as executive board member."

Wrestling roots go back to the ancient Greek Olmpics and are also tired to Pankration.

Online encyclopidia Wikipedia states the following on Pankration:


Pankration was a martial art introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and founded as a blend of boxing and wrestling but with scarcely any rules. The only things not acceptable were biting and gouging of the opponent's eyes. The term comes from the Greek pa????t??? [pa?krátion], literally meaning "all powers" from p?? (pan-) "all" + ???t?? (kratos) "strength, power".

Pro wrestling community bonding to see Wrestling return to the Games...

As part of TNA Wrestling’s campaign to fight the International Olympic Committee’s decision to drop wrestling from the Olympics in 2020, TNA President Dixie Carter is calling on WWE to act:

“We need to join together right now. We encourage our own IMPACT WRESTLING community, WWE and wrestling organizations worldwide as well as competitive amateur coaches and athletes to have a unified voice to make sure wrestling will be an Olympic sport in 2020.”


Kurt Angle, Iron Sheik, Alberto del Rio and Many More Speak Out Against Wrestling Being Removed from the Olympics...

It has been accounced that the Olympic Committee had officially announced its line-up for the 2020 Olympic Games, and was removing wrestling from contention. TNA Wrestling has released a statement on the issue, and the outpooring of support against this decision has been substantial.

Can't believe the @olympics decision today. Let your voices be heard #SaveOlympicWrestling #WrestlingMatters tiny.cc/yzpesw

— Dixie Carter (@TNADixie) February 12, 2013


I Urge all my followers fans and friends to join in the effort to #SaveOlympicWrestling

— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) February 12, 2013


#saveolympicwrestling. Show Your Love for the Sport. IOC Must Reverse Decision. Trend It Worldwide. #USAWrestling #TNAWrestling

— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) February 12, 2013


No "Shooter" by a LONG shot. I learned more about hardwork, discipline & technique in 6mo of amateur wrestling. #SaveOlympicWrestling#my2c

— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) February 12, 2013


#SaveOlympicWrestling #SiSiSi

— Alberto Del Rio (@VivaDelRio) February 12, 2013

For more tweets on the issue, including some from DDP, Colt Cabana, The Iron Sheik, Big E Langston and a whole lot more, search for #SaveOlympicWrestling on Twitter, and select "top" from the options.


Kurt Angle is being extremely vocal on the matter and said that he was going to fight to get wrestling back into the Olympics during a recent interview with The Sun.

“I’ll continue to wrestle for the TNA. The plan is on wrestling three more years then coach amateur wrestlers and fight my butt of to get wrestling back in the Olympics.”


News...

International Olympic Committee drops wrestling for 2020 Olympic Games...

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — IOC leaders dropped wrestling from the Olympic program on Tuesday, a surprise decision that removes one of the oldest Olympic sports from the 2020 Games.

The IOC executive board decided to retain modern pentathlon — the event considered most at risk — and remove wrestling instead from its list of 25 “core sports.”

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.

Wrestling, which combines freestyle and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.

“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.”

Adams said the decision was made by secret ballot over several rounds, with members voting each time on which sport should not be included in the core group. IOC President Jacques Rogge did not vote.

The board voted after reviewing a report by the IOC program commission report that analyzed 39 criteria, including television 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.The international wrestling federation, known by the French acronym FILA, is headed by Raphael Martinetti and is based in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. Calls to the federation for comment were not immediately returned.

Wrestling featured 344 athletes competing in 11 medal events in freestyle and seven in Greco-Roman at last year’s London Olympics. 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, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. They will be vying for a single opening in 2020.

The IOC executive board will meet in May in St. Petersburg, Russia, to decide which sport or sports to propose for 2020 inclusion. The final vote will be made at the IOC session, or general assembly, in September in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It is extremely unlikely that wrestling would be voted back in so soon after being removed by the executive board.

“Today’s decision is not final,” Adams said. “The session is sovereign and the session will make the final decision.”

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.

Previously considered under the closest scrutiny was modern pentathlon, which has been on the Olympic program since the 1912 Stockholm Games. It was created by French baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement, and combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting.

Klaus Schormann, president of governing body UIPM, lobbied hard to protect his sport’s Olympic status and it paid off in the end.

“We have promised things and we have delivered,” he said after Tuesday’s decision. “That gives me a great feeling. It also gives me new energy to develop our sport further and never give up.”

Modern pentathlon also benefited from the work of Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the son of the former IOC president who is a UIPM vice president and member of the IOC board.

“We were considered weak in some of the scores in the program commission report but strong in others,” Samaranch told the AP. “We played our cards to the best of our ability and stressed the positives. Tradition is one of our strongest assets, but we are also a multi-sport discipline that produces very complete people.”