Local wrestlers want the sport to regain its Olympic status
Published Saturday, February 23, 2013 6:57PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 23, 2013 8:09PM EST
Wrestling is one of the world's oldest sports but come 2020, it may lose its Olympic status. Earlier this month the International Olympic Committee dropped wrestling as a core sport.
A move that shocked those involved in the sport and play it on a local level.
Mitch Winchester, 18, says he isn’t ready for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but instead had is heart set on the 2020 Olympics.
“It's a bit of a heartbreaker, because it was my dream to be in the Olympics one day.”
He says competing won’t be the same if the IOC’s decision remains the same.
“In our country, no one knows when the world championships happen, unless you're an actual wrestler - but the Olympics, everyone knows that's going on” says Winchester, who is participating as a referee in a youth tournament in Kitchener.
Dr. Ivan Jagas, is the head coach at the Waterloo Region Matmen Wrestling Club says wrestling is a sport that encompasses so many others.
“I tell the kids you have to have the strength of a weightlifter, the endurance of a long distance runner, the balance of a gymnast, and the mental tactics of a chess player, because that's really what it is.”
The Olympic Committee makes decisions to cut sports based on more than three dozen criteria, which includes TV ratings, ticket sales and global participation.
Still when news spread that it was cut it led to a global outcry to bring it back. It also sparked a motion to re-evaluate the rules of the game, to make it more interesting.
Something that Coach Guy Zink says it’s important, in order to keep the sport relevant.
“We have to be very alert to the changes we need to make, and we need to forge ahead and do that, just complaining about it is not going to do it.”
Dr. Egon Beiler a Kitchener dentist who is who was a member of the Canadian Olympic wrestling team at the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympic games.
In an email to CTV Kitchener Beiler wrote that he is shocked by the decision to remove the sport as a core sport.
“These are the kinds of sports that should be the basis of all sports at our Olympics. One on one duel of hard fought bouts is what I like to see. Wrestling has been in the Olympics since its inception. Taking it out is akin to removing a rib in a person's body. That person will never be the same."
While its slim there is a chance that wrestling could still be at the 2020 Olympics.
It’s one of eight sports that will compete for the last spot on the program. It’s up against things like baseball, softball, wakeboarding and roller sports.
A decision on what sport gets the final spot will come in May.