Don't tell gold medalists Rulon Gardner or Jordan Burroughs or Jake Varner or revered wrestling icon Dan Gable that wrestling is becoming irrelevant.
The International Olympic Committee seems to think otherwise, and in a secret vote Tuesday, decided to end its affiliation with one of its core Olympic sports.
Unless it reverses course, the 2016 Olympics will be the last time wrestling – freestyle and Greco-Roman – will appear on the docket. It seems inconceivable that a sport with world popularity and participation would be shelved, while rarely-seen sports such as the modern pentathlon remains.
NCAA Division One wrestling champion J.P. O'Connor, an Oxford Academy graduate, responded by text message hours after the IOC decision, but declined to comment at this time saying his thoughts were too emotional. "I would like to talk to a few more people first," O'Connor wrote in his text message reply.
Wrestling dates to ancient times, and even as far back as cavemen where drawings of wrestling scenes have been documented. It was a founding sport in the first modern Olympic Games in Greece in 1896, and has retained worldwide popularity with 70 countries submitting entries into the 2012 games in London.
"I have no idea why they did it," said Greene head wrestling coach Tim Jenks, who has around 45 years of experience as a wrestler and coach. "Why get rid of a sport that so many countries are good at? This being the oldest sport, I just can't imagine (the Olympics) without it."..