Wrestling has (thankfully) been restored for the 2020 Olympic games, prompting many wrestling fans to wonder just what in the world the Olympic Committee was thinking in the first place when they temporarily eliminated wrestling from the Olympics? As a fan of the sport, and someone who regularly works with wrestlers, I cannot tell you how excited I am to see wrestling back in the Olympics. Wrestling is not only a terrific sport, but the wrestling community includes some of the finest human beings on the planet.
Wrestling is an individual sport in the sense that it is truly a one-on-one endeavor when two combatants take to the mat. While each competitor represents his or her team (or in the case of the Olympics, countries), when the whistle blows there is no place to hide and nobody else to blame when things don’t go well. For these reasons wrestling might well be the most “mental” of all sports, giving us all the more reason to admire the dedication and perseverance wrestlers put into their sport. Wrestling should have never been trimmed form the Olympic sport ledger, as it is also one of the oldest sports known to man, and produces thrills and excitement not often seen in other sports.
The sport of wrestling pushes its competitors on multiple levels, too. Not only do wrestlers have to be in amazing physical condition, they have to master the technical aspects of wrestling, develop the mental toughness needed to minimize negative anxiety while building self-confidence, and perhaps most taxing of all – keep their weight under control!
The wrestling community is solely responsible for getting wrestling back into the Olympics, and this was done largely by very passionate wrestlers and fans who created one of the biggest and most successful grass roots campaigns ever before seen. In just a matter of months, the wrestling community showed such dedication and commitment to the sport that the IOC had no choice but to acknowledge how powerful the sport of wrestling is — and how important it was to get it back as an Olympic sport. Kudos to the wrestling community, and may you have many, many more Olympic games to compete in the decades ahead!
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