“No Wrestling!?!?” Eh, That Will Not Ruin the Olympics for Me

 The Olympic Flag, www.olympic.org/

Among my bucket list of many dreams is attending the Olympics. I want to attend the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics at least once. I admire the skill, hard work, and grace that athletes have when performing incredible feats.

I am training for a marathon so I know how hard it is just to finish an event. To be competing against the absolute best in the world is something that is really admirable in Olympic athletes. The Olympics are so skill heavy that the number 10th place finisher isn’t necessarily a loser… it just means they are the 10th best at his/her sport. You know, 10th best in the “world.”

There are several must see events for me at the Summer Olympics:

  • Men’s and Women’s 100-meter dash: These athletes are smoking fast. I could have a 20-meter head start and still lose.
  • Men’s and Women’s Diving: Diving is graceful.
  • Soccer (football): The best footballers in the world representing their country in the most popular sport in the World. The energy will be second only to the World Cup.
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball: Mainly to watch USA basketball.
  • Weightlifting: This sport is boring … but I am amazed at the feats of strength. The weaklings are still at least twice as strong as I am if not more.
  • *and then stop in at other sports between the above events I want to see… such as volleyball, pole vault, swimming, etc*

* * *

Wrestling has history in the Olympics. And it seems bizarre for a Summer Olympics to not feature wrestling. Wrestling showcases amazing athletes using strength and speed. Not having wrestling at the Olympics is like a professional sports team that doesn’t have a mascot. It’s something that is supposed to be there because of tradition. The Olympics without without wrestling feels kinda Twilight Zoneish.

But I don’t go to a professional sporting event to see the mascot. And I never wanted to go to the Olympics to see wrestling. I have seen high school wrestling live and I have seen college and Olympic wrestling on television. To me wrestling is very boring to watch. Maybe if you are the parent, brother, or sister of one of the wrestlers it feels different, but to me it is boring. So my Olympic experience will not be negatively impacted by the absence of wrestling.

I believe my point of view of wrestling represents the casual U.S. sports viewer who pays attention once every four years… just look at soccer (football) as an example. The “world” loves soccer, but the casual U.S. sports viewer pays attention once every few years for the Women’s World Cup. Unfortunately for the rest of the world the casual U.S. viewer is more important to advertisers.

IOC: Casual fan, should the Olympics keep wrestling?

CASUAL FAN: Yes, of course keep wrestling. It’s tradition! You can’t have the Olympics without wrestling.

IOC: If we keep wrestling will you watch?

CASUAL FAN: … probably not, but you should still keep it…

While on the topic of boring Olympic sports, I must admit that I am oddly fascinated by curling in the Winter Olympics. I can watch it for hours. I know it is boring but for some reason it’s hypnotic to watch on television. It must be something with the camera angles they use because I cannot imagine it having the same impact watching it live. So Olympic curling is a boring event I want to see live… mainly to see if it has the same effect without the overhead camera angles.

Maybe the Summer Olympics could replace wrestling with curling. No, it doesn’t make sense necessarily in terms of “tradition”… but if it’s advertising dollars they are after, at least for me curling would be big. If they are marketing the Olympics to me, the casual sports fan who pays attention once every four years… then they should add curling. After all if they wanted tradition … they would have kept wrestling.

2 thoughts on ““No Wrestling!?!?” Eh, That Will Not Ruin the Olympics for Me

  1. This is spot on, and I thought the same thing. I never wrestled, but I had a good friend who wrestled in college, and I saw the athleticism and training the sport required. It is one of the most grueling and painful sports somebody can endure. It seems wrong to keep a sport like fencing, but not wrestling. Some great athletes are being pushed out of the spotlight. That being said, when wrestling was on, I flipped to one of the other 4 channels carrying the Olympics and watched something like Mountain Biking, badminton, or beach volleyball. Great post!

    1. I agree. I admire wrestlers for their strength and endurance and it is a shame for them to be pushed out of the Olympics. But like you, beach volleyball will always trump wrestling in terms of my viewership. Thanks for reading!

Join the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s