Wrestling will continue to be an Olympic sport, winning a vote Sunday in Buenos Aires by the IOC, which only seven months ago recommended that it be cut starting with the 2020 Summer Games.
Baseball/softball and squash were the losers in the final vote. Members of the International Olympic Committee gave wrestling 49 votes, compared with 24 for baseball/softball and 22 for squash.
Wrestling officials and fans had to rally forces to reinstate their sport, which was one of the few to be included in the ancient and modern Olympic Games.
"This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said when wrestling was given the ax. "It's not a case of what's wrong with wrestling, it is what's right with the [other] 25 core sports."
Wrestling officials made recommendations to improve their sport, including adding weight classes for women's competition.
“Every sport, even the oldest one like ours, must be updated and we failed to do so,” said Nenad Lalovic, president of the sports' governing body, FILA, before the final vote. “We were sleeping all that time on the pillow of our history. That was our problem.”
Although Americans are among the most decorated wrestlers in modern history along with Russia/Soviet Union, participants are found worldwide with Bulgaria, Cuba, Finland, Hungary, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey each boasting several gold medalists.
Other sports that failed to make the final vote to gain inclusion in the 2020 Games were climbing, karate, roller sports, wake boarding and wushu.
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