Wrestling added to Olympic programme

Buenos Aires, Sept 8, 2013: In the latest step in the process of evaluating and refining the Olympic Programme, the sport of wrestling was elected today as an additional sport for the Summer Olympic Games of 2020 and 2024.

The decision was made at the 125th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after the full membership of the IOC agreed on the 25 sports that will form the core for the 2020 Games, awarded yesterday to the city of Tokyo.

The Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) made a presentation to the Session, along with the International Federations of baseball/softball (WBSC) and squash (WSF), all shortlisted by the IOC Executive Board in May following an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission. The IOC members voted for wrestling with a simple majority of votes cast in the first round.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “Wrestling has shown great passion and resilience in the last few months. They have taken a number of steps to modernise and improve their sport, including the addition of more women and athletes in decision-making positions; rule changes to make the sport more exciting and easy to understand; and an increase in the number of women’s competitions. We are pleased with their reaction and happy to have wrestling on the Olympic programme in 2020 and 2024.”

In order to control the size, cost and complexity of the Games, the Olympic Programme was capped in 2002 at 28 sports, approximately 300 events and a target of 10,500 athletes. It was also decided that a systematic review of the Olympic Programme would be conducted after every edition of the Games to provide regular rejuvenation of the Games while maintaining continuity and consistency. The concept of a core group of 25 sports with a maximum of three additional sports was adopted in 2007, and two years later golf and rugby sevens were added to the programme of the Rio 2016 and the 2020 Olympic Games.

Results of vote:

Wrestling: 49

Baseball / Softball: 24

Squash: 22

IOC Decision Is ‘Heart-Breaking’ Says WSF President
Buenos Aires: World Squash Federation (WSF) President N Ramachandran, who led the Squash presentation at today’s IOC Session in Buenos Aires, admitted that he was heart-broken at the decision.
“Today’s decision is heart-breaking for the millions of Squash players around the world, particularly given the 10-year journey we have been on to join the Olympic Games Sports Programme,” said President Ramachandran.
“As the only new Olympic sport on today’s shortlist, we believed Squash offered something for the future and I still hope that our inclusion may still be possible.
“The feedback we have received from many IOC members for our campaign and our presentation has been very positive and I am encouraged by the vote we received today. We have much to offer the Olympic Movement and I am hopeful that today is not the end of our Olympic journey.”

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