While many Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts have debated whether more combat sports like Boxing, Judo and Taekwon Do will be included in the Olympic games it is with great disappointment that the IOC announced today they will be dropping what has been considered a major staple of unarmed combat sports for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Wrestling has been included as an Olympic sport since the modern games began in 1896.
It was expected that at least one sport would be dropped this year in favor of adding another for future games. However, it was thought the most likely candidate for retirement would be Modern Pentathlon, a sports contest that includes five events: pistol shooting, fencing, 200 m freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a 3 km cross-country run.
The decision to drop Wrestling was reached by secret ballot over several sessions. At the final vote there were 4 candidates remaining: wrestling, modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey. (All curiously with an aggressive undertone or combat theme.) Some may be speculating whether this is a sign of things to come. However, the exact criteria for selection, or rather deselection in this case, has yet to be made publicly available by the IOC.
A final vote on which sport to add in place of Wrestling will be made in September of 2013. Already on the list for inclusion in the 2016 Olympics are Rugby and Golf.