Wrestling announced as one of three sports on shortlist for 2020 Games
By Gary Abbott
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – The International Olympic Committee Executive Board announced that wrestling was in a group of three sports which have been selected for the short list of candidate sports for the final provisional sport spot in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
The other sports which were named to the short list of sports were squash and baseball/softball.
These sports will be presented for a final vote by the entire IOC General Assembly in its meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September. Only one of these sports will be included in the 2020 and 2024 Olympics.
The sports which were not selected to advance to the final vote in Buenos Aires were karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.
FILA, the international wrestling federation, made a presentation to the IOC Executive Board today to make its case for inclusion in the Olympic Games. Making the presentation was an all-star group of wrestling leaders, including new FILA President Nenad Lalovic of Serbia and four past Olympic athletes, Jim Scherr of the United States, Carol Huynh of Canada, Daniel Igali of Nigeria and Canada and Lise Legrand of France.
Wrestling was placed in this position on February 12, when the IOC Executive Board made a shocking recommendation that wrestling be removed as a core sport for the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling has been a part of the Olympic Games since its inception, as a featured sport in the ancient Olympic Games, as well as a sport in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896.
The international wrestling community has rallied in the effort to Keep Olympic Wrestling. Lalovic was named Acting President of FILA just days after the IOC recommendation after the resignation of former president Raphael Martinetti in February. Lalovic was elected as president during the FILA Extraordinary Congress in Moscow, Russia earlier this month. FILA has also approved a number of major changes in the sport, which included governance reforms which expands the inclusion of women and athletes in the sport, as well as a revision of the competition rules of the sport designed to make wrestling more dynamic.
Statement from FILA
FILA Pleased That IOC Short-Lists Wrestling for Final Vote in September
St. Petersburg, Russia – Nenad Lalovic, the newly elected President of FILA, expressed the organization’s satisfaction following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board decision to include wrestling as one the sports under consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.
President Lalovic noted that “While our place in the Olympic Games is still not guaranteed, this decision recognizes the great lengths to which we are going to reform our sport and address the IOC’s concerns.
At FILA’s recent Extraordinary Congress we enacted a number of rule and governance changes and we hope that our continued efforts will ensure we are successful at the final vote in September. We recognize that there is still a long road ahead but we will continue to work to preserve our place in the Olympic Games.”
More information about the reforms is available on FILA’s website, http://www.fila-official.com/.
The IOC’s 100 delegates will convene in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 7th to cast a final vote on which one of the short-listed sports will be included in the 2020 Olympic Program.