When I heard that wrestling was going to be dropped from the 2020 Olympics I took the opportunity to send a tweet to Matt Lindland, who is the coach of the 2016 US Greco Roman wrestling team, asking him what his thoughts on wrestling being dropped from the Olympics. He referred me to his website www.coachmattlindland.com and gave me permission to repost his entry/response on his website.
Here is the repost.
Are you fucking kidding me the IOC votes to drop wrestling from the Olympic games Feb 12 2013? What the hell is this all about?
I apologize for my delayed response. I heard the news about 12 hours ago when I spoke with my wife from Cuba, where I am at right now as a wrestling coach for the US Greco-roman wrestling team. This year I was selected as the coach for the 2013 US Greco-Roman world team. I am in Cuba right now coaching a group of wrestlers in a big international wrestling tournament. All these wrestlers I am coaching here are Olympic hopefuls for 2016 games and many of them young enough to consider 2020.
The IOC decision to drop wrestling from the Olympic games comes as a surprise, and is an incredibly poor decision for many reasons.
The IOC’s decision comes as a shock to the world and goes against the Olympic spirit. The sport of wrestling was in the original ancient games and was important enough to be included in the first modern Olympic games.
I was originally an equestrian athlete from the time I was two years old till I reached high school. I was riding every day. I started competing in equestrian events when I was in third grade. By the time I reached the eighth grade I was the best show jumper in my state.
My riding coach was an Olympian and I was inspired to be an Olympian, then I was told I could not take my chosen sport to the next level because of the expenses of competing at the next level. More training, better horses, equipment and travel were not in my family’s budget. I had taken my sport to the highest level we could afford.
Equestrian eventing is an elite sport only for the wealthiest and the elite. This sport and other sports keep the competition level down by pricing 99% of the population out of the sport. How many third world countries like Cuba and many others even have equestrian athletes? It makes me laugh to think of a riding facility here or in most of the countries I wrestled in. Do some research and see the price tag of the animals alone that are Olympic caliber, this is a sport that only the wealthiest and most elite can even have a chance at. During the Sydney games the US equestrian athletes wouldn’t even stay in the Olympic village. They needed their own hotel at the Ritz Carlton.
When I reached high school, freshman boys were required to train wrestling as part of the P.E. curriculum. I found wrestling was a good sport for a 98-pound freshman whose only athletic experience was on horseback.
Wrestling is a sport that does not discriminate based on size or social economic class. Wrestling is a sport that anyone from anywhere in the world can compete in.
The men that I competed with and against are some of the greatest individuals I have ever met. The sport of wrestling requires an incredible amount of passion. Wrestling teaches so many lessons that have helped me in life. How to focus on a goal, work hard, stay dedicated overcome obstacles. The sport has helped me and so many others build character and fortitude.
These are the qualities that will help wrestlers to work hard and unify to save our sport. These men and women who wrestle know how to fight and that’s what we are going to have to do to save our great sport.
I pray that the IOC leadership pulls their heads out of their asses so they can hear the voices of the people that have benefitted from the great sport of wrestling.
I vow to join with my brothers and sister in wrestling to fight this decision and keep wrestling in the Olympics. Lets not sell out one style, if we lose either Greco or Freestyle the other style will be next.
Read more here and please sign the petition.
Thank you Coach Matt for allowing me to repost this on my blog.