Wrestling, one of the oldest sporting events in the Olympics was dropped from 2020 Olympic program by IOC leaders. The International Olympic Committee’s executives decided to hold the modern pentathlon competition. The wrestling event was removed form the list of core sports since it was considered to be most risky.
After reviewing 26 sports on the current Olympic program, IOC acted and decided to drop wrestling which will see the addition of a new sporting event in the upcoming Olympic program. The freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling events were conducted from the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. In London Olympics, 344 athletes participated in both the wrestling styles.
Along with seven other sports, wrestling can also be applied for the inclusion in 2020 Olympics. The other sports to be dropped are baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.
The Indian wrestling union expressed surprise with the move and said that the decision will stop the growing profile of wrestlers in the country. "I don't see any reason why IOC decided to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic programme. I am still finding it difficult to come to terms with the news," Sushil Kumar, the Olympic silver medalist said to PTI. "In my view, the IOC would find it difficult to remove it from the list given the sport's huge popularity across the globe. It's an old sport and famous worldwide," he added.
Yogeshwar Dutt, Olympic bronze medallist said the decision will be a "big setback" for upcoming wrestlers. Yogeshwar was quoted as saying, "I am extremely disappointed to hear the news. Wrestling has made India a force to reckon with in the Olympic arena and the IOC has dropped a worldwide famous sport from its list. It's a shocking news to me.”
"What about the upcoming wrestlers? What about their future? Sushil won medals in Beijing and London and I won it in London too. We are targeting the 2016 Rio Olympics but there are other young wrestlers who are preparing for the next edition. What about them? They would become aimless after this sudden decision," he added.
Vinod Kumar, Chief National coach of Indian wrestling team said that the news was a big shock to him. "I just saw it on news channels and my first reaction was 'IOC must be joking, they can't do it'. It's shocking and disappointing. One must understand that it's a famous sport not only in India but world over. It will effect India's medal chances at the Olympics," he said.