Wrestling is one of the oldest sports and deserves to be represented as a core sport in the Olympic Program. Wrestling requires fortitude, discipline, and commitment to excellence; all qualities that are exemplified in the Olympic Program. Here is a brief history of wrestling and its place in the Olympics (made for each other) from Ron Dicker.
"For the ancient Greeks, wrestling was a very big deal. It virtually defined the original Olympic Games as the marquee event. Among the sport's noted practitioners was the philosopher Plato, who had the brawn and the brains to get out of a clinch; one of wrestling's early sportswriters was Homer, who recounted epic matches.
Wrestling also had the blessing of the gods of Greek mythology: Zeus out-wrestled Cronus for possession of the universe, a feat celebrated in the ancient Olympic Games by making wrestling the decisive, final event of the pentathlon.
Back then, the sport actually resembled what is now known as freestyle wrestling. But this was nothing new. Sumerian cave drawings found in Mesopotamia indicate that wrestling has been around more than 7,000 years.
The Egyptians refined the activity into a science. Tombs around the village of Beni Hasan dating to 2500 BC contain hundreds of wrestling how-to drawings. Many of the moves depicted would be right at home at the Beijing Olympics.
During the Middle Ages, the sport gained knightly appeal that extended to royalty. Henry VIII of England, an avid fan, challenged King Francis I of France to a legendary throwdown in 1520. Francis scored a takedown, as well as cross-channel bragging rights.
Wrestling has global cousins in schwingen (Switzerland), sumo (Japan), kurek (Kazakhstan) and numerous other folk styles. In the New World, Indians were wrestling long before the continent was "discovered."
When Pierre de Coubertin resurrected the Olympic Games in 1896 after a 1,500-year hiatus, officials tried to connect to the ancient past by introducing upper-torso-restricted Greco-Roman wrestling as an event. There was one unlimited weight class, but that didn't stop an agile 5-foot-4 German named Carl Schumann from winning the gold. He also won three golds in gymnastics. "
Many more triumphant moments came from wrestling and the Olympic Games. Wrestling and the Olympics have a long history together that needs to keep bringing us the first class competition and athletic prowess that the Olympics represents. Please help us keep wrestling as a core sport in the Olympics, where it belongs.
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