The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board voted on February 12th to recommend that wrestling not be included as one of 25 core Olympics sports, starting in the 2020 Summer games. This is not a final decision.
The Way Forward
In response to the above recommendation, the international wrestling community has come together. FILA, the international governing body of wrestling, has changed leadership and reformed its governance structure to better represent its 177 member nations and 10 million wrestlers worldwide.
In the United States, USA Wrestling has assembled an impressive, passionate and focused group of wrestling legends and business leaders to develop and implement strategy that will aid FILA in the international effort as well as galvanize the strength of wrestling domestically. This group is known as the Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW).
On May 29th in St. Petersburg, Russia, the 15-member IOC Executive Board met to consider eight provisional sports for inclusion in the 2020 & 2024 games. After a successful presentation, wrestling was selected as a finalist, along with two other sports, to be considered for inclusion. Of the those three selected, only one sport will be chosen in a vote by the IOC General Assembly in early September. The other two finalists for inclusion are squash and baseball/softball.
On September 9th, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the IOC will meet and determine the future of wrestling as an Olympic Sport. Wrestling has two chances to continue its Olympic legacy. First, the 100-member General Assembly will vote to either accept or deny the Executive Board's recommendation to remove wrestling as a core sport.
If the recommendation is accepted and wrestling is removed as a core sport, wrestling will then have a second chance when the General Assembly will select one of the three finalists for inclusion.