Sports Ministry urges IOC to retain wrestling in 2020 Olympics
New Delhi: The Sports Ministry has requested full membership of the International Olympic Committee to take up the matter of wrestling at the 125th session of IOC at Buenos Aires, Argentina and retain the game in the category of core sports in Olympic Games.
In a letter written to all the IOC members, Sports Secretary P K Deb has said that wrestling, which combines Freestyle (men and women) and Greco-Roman events, goes back to the inaugural modern Olympics held in Athens in 1886 and has been a core sport from the first Olympics onwards.
"It was a part of the ancient Olympics too. The exclusion of the discipline from the core sports of Olympics is against tradition, which is so much a part of Olympics," Deb wrote in the letter.
"In modern times, wrestling has immense popularity and fan following world-wide. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that 71 countries participated in wrestling events in the London Olympic 2012, to full houses.
"The decision of the Executive Board of IOC not to include wrestling in the core sports for 2020 Olympics will severely affect the sustenance of the game in future," the letter added.
The letter also said the Government of India believed that the decision to exclude the sport of wrestling from the 25 core sports needed to be reconsidered particularly in view of the fact that wrestling not only got universal appeal, but was also very affordable.
The letter has been written in the context of the decision of the Executive Board of the IOC at its meeting held on February 12, 2013 recommending that wrestling governed by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling be not included in the list of core sports for the 2020 Olympics.
The Executive Board of IOC at its meeting held at St. Petersburg (Russia) on 20th May 2013 recommended that baseball/softball, squash and wrestling be proposed to the 125th session of IOC for possible inclusion as an additional sport in the Olympic Programme for 2020 Olympic Games.
The full IOC membership will meet in Buenos Aires from September 7 to 10 and will vote on which of the three sports to add to the programme of the Games for 2020 Olympics in addition to the 25 core sports.