Wrestling is back as an Olympic sport through 2024 after making changes to the sport that got it approved by the International Olympic Committee this weekend. Wrestling had been dropped earlier this year and was forced to win a vote for reinstatement starting in 2020.
Among the changes will be the way wrestlers are dressed, including possibly having Greco Roman wrestler compete shirtless.
"We will change everything," said Nenad Lalovic, the president of wrestling's international federation (FILA). "The whole scenery of the venue." The red-and-yellow mat will go the way of the full Nelson, replaced perhaps by shades of blue.
"Our singlets are so old fashioned," Lalovic said. Freestyle wrestlers could wear fight shorts and a tight-fitting microfiber T-shirt. Greco-Roman wrestlers may even go shirtless.
FILA's new model for the sport is mixed martial arts and is considering things like staged weigh-ins. There are also significant changes to how matches are scored and timed, with the emphasis on rewarding aggressive wrestlers and not those who use stall tactics. The goal is to make the sport more accessible to spectators.
These changes are all to the good, and having freestyle wrestlers wear tight-fitting shirts and Greco Roman wrestlers go shirtless would certainly boost the sport's sex appeal. If the sport was true to its ancient origins, the wrestlers would all go naked. Talk about a ratings winner!
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