In a shocking move, the International Olympic Committee voted to drop wrestling from its schedule for the 2020 Games. The unexpected decision was made via secret ballot during a Tuesday meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland where officials were discussing ways to "streamline" the Olympics.
Though many assumed modern pentathlon would get the boot, the committee instead decided to eliminate wrestling, which has roots in the ancient Greece games and has been a part of every modern Olympics since they began in 1896. The vote was completed over several rounds and the final totals were not released to the public.
Now wrestling will have to face off with seven other sports that are fighting for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. The list includes includes baseball and softball, which were dropped from the Olympics after Beijing in 2008 and sports trying to make the Olympics for the first time, including karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing,wake boarding and wushu. The Associated Press said it is "extremely unlikely" that wrestling would be brought back so soon after the committee voted to eliminate it.
Wrestling has been an Olympic sport since the ancient origins of the games in Greece. The United States is the most successful active nation, with 50 all-time gold medals and 125 overall. The US team won two gold medals in the 2012 Games in London. Russia currently dominates the sport, but wrestlers from Japan, Turkey, Finland, South Korea, Iran and Cuba have all won their country dozens of medals.