The End of “Real” Wrestling?

March 1, 2013

The end of “Real” Wrestling?

While political chicanery has been driving articles on Dojo Rat lately, I would be remiss for not commenting on the decision of the Olympic committee to drop wrestling as an Olympic sport.
From The New York Times:

“Wrestling, one of the earliest and most elemental Olympic sports, was dropped from the Summer Games on Tuesday in a stunning and widely criticized decision by the International Olympic Committee.
Women’s freestyle wrestling joined the Games in 2004, but the I.O.C. said it preferred sports that were “relevant” to more fans.
Apart from track and field, wrestling is considered by many the oldest competitive sport, one that made its first appearance at the ancient Olympic Games in 708 B.C. and thrives on its rudimentary attractiveness — one athlete trying to subdue another, not with equipment but with the fundamental use of the arms, upper body and legs.
(snip)
Both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling will be contested at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but they will be excluded from the 2020 Summer Games, for which a host city has not yet been named, the I.O.C. said Tuesday.
The decision to drop wrestling was made by secret ballot by the Olympic committee’s 15-member executive board at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The exact vote and the reasons for the decision were not given in detail.
(snip)
Olympic-style wrestling, with its amateur roots and absence of visibility except during the Games, does not have superstars with widespread international acclaim like Lionel Messi in soccer, Kobe Bryant in basketball, Tiger Woods in golf and Usain Bolt in track. And in the United States, the popularity of Olympic-style wrestling is surpassed by the staged bombast of professional wrestling.
Sports like snowboarding have been added to the Winter Games to broaden their appeal. Golf and rugby will return at the 2016 Rio Games after long absences. Among the sports that wrestling must compete with for future inclusion are rock climbing, rollerblading and wakeboarding.”
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Ok you little “x-sports” fucks.
So now the country-club golfers, the dancing ribbon wavers and the wake-and-bake boarders take precedence over one of the original, and possibly toughest Olympic sports. Screw that.
Throughout the history of man, two things insured survival; running and wrestling. In my opinion, sports that replicate combat or hunting skills are the most primal and important. This includes throwing sharp or heavy objects.
What this indicates to me is that technology has overcome the individual, something relevant across the board in our entire society.
I have a personal history with wrestling:

My wrestling team, circa 1974

Yes, that’s the young Ratlet on the statue, weighing in at 136.
Even though I played baseball, basketball and football, I tended to gravitate to individual sports like gymnastics, wrestling and later martial arts. In wrestling, while you have a team to practice with, when competition time comes it’s just you and another guy on the mat.
Wrestling, being a combat sport, prepared me for the dozens of fistfights I had in my teenage years, as well as humbling me to superior forces.
One such incident occurred when I rudely smarted off to one of the coaches in the cafeteria. The large gentleman at the bottom right of our team picture taught me a lifetime lesson that day.
After school we were getting warmed up in the mat room, and said coach came in, called me out and took me into a smaller mat room next door. He really worked me over, slamming me repeatedly into the mats until I was a broken mess. As I re-entered the team room, everyone knew what had happened. I finished practice that day and accepted the beating as nothing personal, and I had learned my lesson.
The next day, another one of my teachers, a big Norwegian guy who played rugby came into the mat room as we were warming up. He was wearing a wrestling uniform, and he wasn’t even a coach. He called me out, took me into the room next door and repeated my beating lesson. Maybe even worse.
Again I returned to my team and finished practice.
Upon reflection, I realized that they basically thought that I was a good kid and talented athlete. They took me on like old cowboys on a cattle drive would have taught a young greenhorn a lesson. Both those men became good friends and mentors, I never forgot them and respect the lesson they taught me.

That’s something all the ribbon-wavers and wake-and-bake boarders will never understand.
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Bob over at “Striking Thoughts” has a take on who is making such Olympic sports decisions:

“For years, the IOC consisted of aristocrats and their offspring. Commoners need not apply…”

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