The International Olympic Committee decided that wrestling, squash, and a joint bid from baseball and softball will compete for the final spot at the 2020 games. The IOC executive board heard bids from eight sports vying for retention in the games during a conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, and they made their picks on what three events would be put forward for final consideration at their next session in Buenos Aries in September.
There was serious concern that wrestling would be taking its last bow in 2016 after it lost its status as a core Olympic sport. This latest development will give hope to all wrestling fans that the sport, which has been an ever present since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, will continue that streak.
"The executive board received excellent presentations today [May 29] from eight international federations. It was never going to be an easy decision, but I feel my colleagues on the board made a good decision in selecting baseball/softball, squash and wrestling to be put forward in Buenos Aires. I wish the three shortlisted sports the best of luck in the run-up to the vote in September and would like to thank the other sports for their hard work and dedication," said Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, according to olympic.org.
The news was met with relief from figures in the wrestling world. "While our place in the Olympic Games is still not guaranteed, this decision recognizes the great lengths to which we are going to reform our sport and address the IOC’s concerns. At FILA’s recent Extraordinary Congress we enacted a number of rule and governance changes and we hope that our continued efforts will ensure we are successful at the final vote in September," said President Nenad Lalovic of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles. "We recognize that there is still a long road ahead but we will continue to work to preserve our place in the Olympic Games.”
Which sport do you want to see stay in the games? Let us know in the comments!