Wrestling Reinstated for 2020 Olympics

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 8 2013 2:30 PM

Wrestling Beats Out Baseball-Softball and Squash, Wins Reinstatement to 2020 Olympic Games

Picture taken during the final presentation of wrestling to fill the final sports slot left vacant for the 2020 Olympic Games

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Seven months after one of the most traditional sports was kicked out of the Olympic program, wrestling was welcomed back into the roster Sunday, as expected. The vote by the International Olympic Committee members wasn’t even close, with wrestling receiving 49 votes in the first round of secret balloting. A joint bid by baseball and softball received 24 votes and squash got 22 votes, reports USA Today. "Wrestling has shown great passion and resilience in the last few months," IOC president Jacques Rogge said. "They have taken a number of steps to modernize and improve their sport."

Wrestling is one of the most traditional sports, with a history that dates back to the ancient Greek Olympics and has been on the program of every modern games except 1900, notes the Associated Press. That’s why it caught everyone by surprise when the sport was axed from the Olympics in February. Yet the move was largely seen as a wake-up call by wrestling authorities who proceeded to launch a massive effort to overhaul the sport and its leadership, reports the New York Times. Among the changes, wrestling elected a new leader, included more women in decision-making roles, and generally made wrestling easier to understand and more dynamic. In addition, two weight classes were added for women and two were dropped for men.

"With this vote, you have shown that the steps we have taken to improve our sport have made a difference," Nenad Lalovic, the head of the wrestling’s governing body FILA, said. "I assure each of you that our modernization will not stop now. We will continue to strive to be the best partner to the Olympic movement that we can be."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You

It spreads slowly.

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?