Photo courtesy Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Photo courtesy Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of talk about the “20/20 Experience”, Justin Timberlake’s upcoming album officially bringing his return to music. However, when it comes to the 2020 experience, the Olympics will be without wrestling.

The IOC slated the sport to be sent to the gallows after it decided it was going to lob off one of its 26 current sports. A lot of people thought the Modern Pentathlon was doomed. Others thought perhaps it would be Taekwondo.

Instead, an event that was present in the inaugural 1896 games got the axe.

The move, admittedly a little surprising, actually sparked some outcry on social media once it was announced.

“So much for IOC’s alleged standard of universality for sports,” tweeted Olympic sportswriter Philip Hersh,” modern pentathlon had athletes from 26 countries in London; wrestling, 71.”

Hersh also went on to insinuate that Taekwondo survived for financial reasons, pointing out that the sport is big in Korea, and Korean corporation Samsung is a big IOC sponsor.

But then the athletes themselves weighed in on the announcement.

“IOC come on seriously wrestling is a sport that almost every country does and you drop it,” Falcons wide receiver Roddy White tweeted out, “I’m pissed #saveolympicwrestling”

It’s likely the IOC didn’t expect so much backlash from its announcement, but the gripes do have merit. Sports that ARE continuing include the modern pentathlon (as I’ve already mentioned), badminton, canoeing, equestrian, synchronized  swimming, and table tennis. Personally, I would like to hear the committee’s argument as to how any of those are more “core sports” than wrestling.

And if you’re rolling your eyes because it sounds like I’m getting bent out of shape over this, don’t. Because I’m not. In the grand scheme of things, I really don’t care. But the IOC and other Olympic organization DO really care, and it seems to me that the ball has been dropped here.

The committee cautioned that it wasn’t a done deal, and that their announcement was merely a recommendation, but it’s very unlikely anyone can save the spandex. The games are going through a phase where its organizers are starting to rethink what sports should and should not belong in the modern era. It’s already been mentioned that nixing wrestling frees up a spot for another sport to come in. Golf and rugby will be making their Olympic induction at the 2016 games, and if they’re inclusion proves to be a critical success, it may further cement the IOC’s agenda to “get out” with some of the old.

I watched very little wrestling during the London games, and if you asked me right now, I couldn’t name one medalist. But if that’s the IOC’s reasoning for doing away with the sport, thet’re overlooking the fact that I can’t name a single medalist in SEVERAL sports. Hell, I don’t even know the five events that go into the modern pentathlon. Running, swimming, cycling, and two other things? Am I close? I don’t know.

Use this new free spot to add ‘blogging’ and maybe I will.

NOTE: This story was originally written for SportsHead. To read this article and others, click here.
When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch for sports updates and other shenanigans!