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Old 11-03-2013, 06:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How a close call benefited Olympic wrestling

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Without a doubt the sport of wrestling experienced a close call when its’ status as an Olympic sport came in jeopardy. On February 12 of this year the International Olympic Committee announced that wrestling was being dropped and their only explanation was that,”It isn’t what’s wrong with wrestling, it’s about what’s right with the core sports.

The announcement was followed by a seven month battle to keep the longtime Olympic tradition where wrestling was selected as a finalist for the open Olympic spot along with squash and baseball/softball and culminated in wrestling being voted back on September 8 into the 2020 and 2024 Olympics with more votes than the other two sports combined. While a welcome victory, the close call was also a wake up call for the sport to make changes. The changes included the following:

On May 18 at the FILA Extraordinary Congress one of major changes included a leadership transition where Nenad Lalovic of Serbia was voted as the new FILA President. He automatically made a call for the sport to change in order to stay in the Olympics. Their changes included the formation of committees that included athletes and women as part of the organizations leadership.

There were also rule changes that saw implementations like cumulative match scores and two three minute rounds return for the first time since the 2004 Athens Games. A more prominent rule change was that take downs are now worth two points, something American wrestlers are already used to.

~ Style Drops and Reshuffling of Weight Classes ~

Part of the rule changes that affected MMA was the dissolution of Amateur Mixed Martial Arts and Grappling (a form of submission wrestling) as non-Olympic wrestling styles regulated by FILA. This isn’t a complete loss to MMA as the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation, which was formed on February 29 of last year, is trying to represent MMA as a possible IOC federation.

Another rule change was that in order to motivate the IOC to keep wrestling was FILA’s expansion of the women’s Olympic weight classes from four to six weight classes. However, this means that men’s freestyle and men’s greco-roman style will both lose a weight class. All three style will have six.

~ Formation of Pro Wrestling Leagues ~

Several attempts were made to create an actual pro wrestling league but none got off the ground until 2002 when Real Pro Wrestling was formed. The league only ran for two seasons in 2004 and 2006-2007 but their first season included notable MMA fighters including King Mo Lawal, Daniel Cormier, Joe Warren and Aaron Simpson. The close call with the Olympics reignited an interest in starting a similar pro wrestling league and two of them were actually formed.

The first league is called the Association of Career Wrestlers which was formed by RPW participant Teague Moore and held their first event on October 20 with plans for more in 2014. The second and more well known league is called Agon Wrestling Championships which held its’ first event on October 27 and featured current Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren, Stephan Abas, and once again Aaron Simpson.

Some could say that the close call with the Olympics was a good call. What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment!
http://mma-freak.com/close-call-bene...pic-wrestling/
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Baseball¿ Isn't that a sport that is almost only played in the US (and a little bit in Japan)¿ I don't see the reason for it to be Olympic, whereas wrestling is a core sport that can be found in basically every historical culture on the planet.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Apparently it's also big in South America but yeah believe it or not it was counted as a finalist for the spot wrestling had.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Baseball is big in both Latin America & East Asia as well as North America. Take a look at the Wold Baseball Classic to get an idea of how popular the sport is. And now baseball is starting to gain steam in Europe.

Baseball is the #3 or #4 most popular sport in the world.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Voiceless View Post
Baseball¿ Isn't that a sport that is almost only played in the US (and a little bit in Japan)¿ I don't see the reason for it to be Olympic, whereas wrestling is a core sport that can be found in basically every historical culture on the planet.
Baseball is huge in the USA, Latin America, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea and played in most of the other major countries in the world. Baseball is in the top 5 most played and watched sports world wide; obviously falling well behind sports like basketball and soccer that are easy to play by yourself and require little monetary investment. That being said olympic baseball is awful and doesn't need to exist. We have the WBC now for the people who care about patriotism in sports.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Another thing is that wrestling believe it or not is one of the most practiced sports in the world. Baseball is nowhere near that popular. There are countries represented in wrestling that aren't represented in any other sports.
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