News / Europe

IOC Downplays Wrestling's Exit After Uproar

Cuba's Gustavo Balart, left, competes with South Korea's Choi Gyu-jin during a 55-kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition, London, Aug. 5, 2012.
Cuba's Gustavo Balart, left, competes with South Korea's Choi Gyu-jin during a 55-kg Greco-Roman wrestling competition, London, Aug. 5, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— The surprise recommendation to drop wrestling from the Olympics has angered athletes, officials and fans around the world and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) played down the finality of its decision on Wednesday.
 
The IOC's 15-member executive board voted on Tuesday to recommend that the sport be dropped from the 2020 Olympic program, with a final decision resting with the IOC session in September in Buenos Aires.
 
The vote prompted an instant wave of protest and anger from the sport's global community with the international federation (FILA) calling it an aberration. Petitions launched with the White House and online wrestling support groups seek to sign up thousands of supporters.
 
India's government said on Wednesday it would seek the support of other countries where wrestling is popular to help the sport remain an Olympic discipline.
 
"These reactions, they are quite normal," IOC Vice President Thomas Bach told reporters. "This would have happened with any decision. You have to find the right balance between tradition and progress.
 
"This was a decision about core sports and nothing more," he said of Tuesday's vote that cut the core Olympic sports from 26 to 25, leaving out wrestling.
 
"I am happy about FILA's reaction, to draw up a plan to act," added Bach, a potential IOC presidential candidate. "That is the right way. Keep in mind a final decision has not yet been taken. If they (FILA) continue like that they will win a lot of sympathies."
 
In St. Petersburg this May the IOC's executive board will decide which of eight candidate sports, including wrestling, will be put forward to win the spot left vacant for the 2020 Games.
 
Painful decision
 
It will then put its recommendation for the 25 core sports and the new entry to a vote at its session in Argentina.
 
"It was always going to be a painful decision," said IOC member and head of the organization's finance commission Richard Carrion, also a potential presidential candidate.
 
"No matter what we do, it will be criticized by someone," said Carrion, a Puerto Rican whose country won a silver medal in wrestling at the London 2012 Olympics, one of two medals overall.
 
"From a personal point of view I am sad," he said. "I have become attached to the wrestling club [in Puerto Rico], which doesn't even have a regulation-size mat and still managed to send three athletes to the Games."
 
For Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., who is both an executive board member and a modern pentathlon vice-president, the decision was a good one.
 
"I am very sorry for wrestling as it is a sport I respect," the son of former IOC president Samaranch told reporters. "I cannot be surprised by the reaction because any sport would have created the same reaction."
 
Wrestling's surprise exit has been blamed by some on a lack of political support within the executive board, where other sports at risk — including modern pentathlon and taekwondo — had the upper hand with representatives in the 15-member group.
 
Asked whether his double capacity was a conflict of interest, Samaranch said: "I am here in my capacity as executive board member."

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Matt from: Ny, ny
February 14, 2013 9:53 PM
No wrestling in the Olympics! Are you kidding? The Olympic wrestling categories are Freestyle and Greco-Roman, you can not find an event anymore Olympic than Greco-Roman Wrestling! Be careful IOC. Remove yourselves for a moment and take a real look at sport; look at what it takes to compete, train, and metal. I care not to watch NBA or other profit centric events where athletes are concerned more about getting injured than participating at 100%.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid