Wrestling Likely To Be Dropped As An Olympic Sport

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Wrestling at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Image: Ben Fitzgerald-O'Connor

Wrestling at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Image: Ben Fitzgerald-O’Connor

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is planning to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport as of the 2020 Summer Games.

Last week the IOC decided to remove wrestling as one of the 25 core Olympic sports.

Wrestling is an ancient sport, dating back to the very first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece in 1896. It was also in the ancient Olympics.

Some countries will feel the loss more deeply than others. People in countries like Russia and Japan (which each won four gold medals in the sport in the 2012 Olympics), the U.S., Azerbaijan and Iran especially love wrestling.

Many Iranians view wrestling as their national sport.

The governments of Iran and the United States don’t normally agree on much. In fact, they are currently in a major disagreement about weapons.

But they are standing together on the issue of wrestling. They both want it put back in the Olympics, and they are willing to work together to make it happen.

U.S. wrestling coach Zeke Jones said the sport is bringing the people of the U.S. and Iran closer together, according to Mehr news agency. Jones said he is certain the IOC will change its mind due to pressure from the public to reinstate wrestling as an Olympic sport. The American team is currently in Iran for a wrestling tournament.

A spokesperson for the IOC said they are removing wrestling in order to “renew and renovate” the Olympics.

The sport was voted out after the IOC reviewed a report that looked at the TV ratings, ticket sales and popularity of the sport.

Wrestling will be in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

There is one untaken slot in the 2020 Summer Olympics and a number of sports that desperately want it: wrestling, baseball/softball, karate, roller skating, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and kung fu.

The IOC will vote in September to decide which sport will be in the 2020 Olympics. Wrestling could win its slot back, but some experts say that would be very unlikely, so soon after being voted out.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The decision to take wrestling out of the Olympics was made after the IOC looked at a report that examined TV ratings, ticket sales and the popularity of the sport.

In your opinion, what makes a sport popular? Why do you think wrestling isn’t as popular as some of the newer sports?

Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
The article explains that wrestling has one last chance to stay in the Olympics. It states, “There is one untaken slot in the 2020 Summer Olympics and a number of sports that desperately want it: wrestling, baseball/softball, karate, roller skating, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and kung fu.”

What criteria do you think the IOC will use to decide which one sport to add to the 2020 Summer Olympics?

If it was up to you, which sport would you add and why?

Junior 
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Grammar Feature: Nationalities (also known as “demonyms”)
People from the United States of America are known as Americans. There are many countries named in this article. Find each country and identify what its people are usually called.