Olympics 2020: Are the Mats Being Rolled Up for Good this Time?

Written by Elizabeth Bradley |

Interviews by Santiago Sanchez and Elizabeth Bradley |

Wrestling, one of the oldest sports known to man, is officially on the chopping block. The sport was first introduced in the Ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC. The IOC, The International Olympic Committee, recommended that wrestling be eliminated from the list of core sports for the 2020 Olympics. Wrestling, along with baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, squash, roller sports, wushu, and wakeboarding, will  present its case in St. Petersburg, Russia in May of 2013.  Until then we are left to only imagine how this could be detrimental to the entire sport of wrestling. According to Palo Alto Online Sports, Chris Horpel, a coach to brothers Mark and Dave Shultz before they won the gold in 1984, continues to standby wrestling as Gunn High’s wrestling coach. “It hurts all the way down to the very bottom, If you get into wrestling, your dream is to become an Olympian. It’s what fuels the fire,” Horpel replied after hearing Tuesday’s news. (To learn more about Chris Horpel and the wrestling controversy visit Palo Alto Online: Elimination of wrestling sends out Olympic Shock Waves)

Wrestlers’, coaches’, parents and fans’ words and outrage are being heard around the world. I took to the halls of The Morgan School to see how our own Morgan Wrestling Team felt. Senior and co-captain, Brian Taylor (31-4), had plenty to say about the possibility that wrestling may not occur in the 2020 Olympics. When asked what his initial feelings were when he first heard the news and how he feels now that it has sunk in, he replied, “I think that it’s a shame because it’s been a sole sport in the Olympics just like boxing and track. I disagree with the decision because it’s something I enjoyed watching in the past Olympics.” We also asked what it means for wrestlers now at the high school level,  like himself, and for the youth wrestlers who have so much to look forward to? Senior and co-captain, Hunter Aiono (23-6), stated, “I’m sure I can talk on behalf of all the other wrestlers like myself that wrestling in the Olympics was my favorite to watch. For wrestling, there is no professional league like the NBA or NFL, so Olympic wrestling is just that much more of a big deal to us.” Hunter went on to tell us how he felt when the news first broke, “…I thought it was a joke at first. I mean wrestling was in the ancient Olympics and has been in the modern Olympics from the very first one in 1896….I just hope that the IOC will come to their senses and put the most prestigious Olympic sport back in the games.” Newcomer to The Morgan School, but familiar with the sport, freshman Nick Bradley (13-6), was asked how he felt when the news first broke. He replied, “I was very angry…It is one of the very first sports  in the Olympics.”  When asked if he would be willing to help bring the sport back to the Olympics, he replied, ” I’m sure the team, as well as myself, would be willing to try and do anything for the sport we love.”

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