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Olympic Mistake

February 17, 2013
Times Leader

SOME DECISIONS just leave you dumbfounded.

The most recent is the one made Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee. That is the day the IOC pulled the plug on one of the staple sports of the Summer Olympics -- wrestling.

The inexplicable IOC decision was met by widespread disbelief, especially here in the United States. Wrestling has been one of the foundations of the Summer Games, dating all the way back to the 1800s.

Wrestling was targeted for elimination over modern pentathlon. That is a five-day event, consisting of pistol shooting, show jumping, a cross-country run, a freestyle swim and fencing.

Eliminating wrestling is outrageous. To do so while saving pentathlon is laughable.

Unless the IOC has a change of heart and regains its senses, wrestling and the Olympics will part ways with the 2020 games. That is a eventuality that need not play out.

The IOC caps its Summer Olympiad at 25 core sports. Why 25 is the limit is also open for debate.

Wrestling does have a chance to avoid the IOC guillotine. One vacancy remains for the 2020 games.

Wrestling must now lobby for survival with other doomed sports such as baseball and softball.

We believe all three sports deserve to be included. The Olympics are global in nature and wrestling, baseball and softball are sports that span interest across the world.

Moreover, all three of those sports are much more attractive to American viewers than the pentathlon. NBC pays billions for broadcasting rights to the Olympics. It should have a seat or two at the IOC table when it makes such outrageous moves.

We hope when the IOC reconvenes to make its final decision on the 2020 Summer Games menu of sports, it comes to its senses. Wrestling, baseball and softball should all be included.

There is no sound reason to shortchange competitors or fans.

 
 

 

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