The Olympics have been going strong since 1896, and since that time, Greco Roman & Freestyle Wrestling has been a part of it.  Long before that, wrestling was a part of the ancient Olympic games dating as far back as 708 BC.  It sounds like that is all about to change.

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee executive board, meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, decided to retain modern pentathlon the event considered most at risk and remove wrestling 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 IOC to add a new sport later this year.

The only sports in which the Americans have won more medals than wrestling is swimming and track and field and those sports have far more medal opportunities.

Americans have won a record 113 freestyle Olympic medals, by far the most of any nation. Though the U.S. had not had a good showing in recent Olympic cycles, we bounced back with a pair of London Games gold medalists in Jordan Burroughs, possibly the best wrestler in the world and Jake Varner.

Wrestling will 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, a Chinese martial art. Those sports will vye for a single opening.

Because wrestling doesn't have a professional outlet other than mixed martial arts, the Olympics is the goal for kids who start the sport.  That is something near and dear to my heart.  Many of you already know that my three boys have been wrestling since they were all very young.  My oldest son, Bridger,  who is now a junior at NC and wrestles varsity at 195 (although he only weighs in at about 178) started at age 6.  My middle son, Keegan, now a freshman and wrestling varsity 120 for NC, started the same year at the age of 3.  Several years later, along came Jayce who officially started at age 5 and is now 7 and wrestles for a local Casper USA affiliated club, Windy City Wrestlers.

Wyoming's very own Rulon Gardner made Olympic history when he upset Russia's Aleksandr Karelin, who had not lost in 13 years, at the 200 Sydney Games.  It's an amazing match to watch:

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 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.
But you can help!  Get your voice heard and show your support by following Keep Wrestling In The Olympicson Facebook.