ImageThat title may seem a little strong, but I was floored to learn that the IOC (International Olympic Committee) voted today, in a closed session using secret ballots, to remove Wrestling from the core sports of the Olympic Games in 2020.

If you asked me last week which of the following three things would happen, I would have picked #3 as the most likely:

1) Pope Benedict would resign his papacy

2) The IOC would remove Wrestling from the summer Olympics

3) The Air Force would adopt a credible warrior training regimen out of shame

This year has been full of surprises already, many of them disturbing, but seriously, I would have bet on #1 above as a sure thing (the pope hasn’t resigned for centuries) compared to #2.

Clearly, the IOC is without three very important things; shame, common sense, and a basic understanding of the what comprises an athletic competition.  I’m at a loss for words. I can argue a fine point for hours, bending facts around my position as needed, and making nuanced and convincing arguments.

But this is a brutally blunt point, and I am at a loss to find ways to describe just how sacreligious and insane it is to destroy Olympic Wrestling. It’s like trying to explain why it is a bad idea to hit someone in the shin with a 15 pound sledgehammer; it is pretty obviously a bad idea on the surface.

Let me draw on my love of history to help me here, just in case you don’t care or agree with me.

First, the modern Olympics, started in 1896, was based on the ancient Greek Olympics which started in the 8th century BCE. The first events were running, mostly sprints, but later a distance race was added, and finally a sprint in full combat load.

Other sports were added soon, to include boxing, wrestling and pankration (think MMA/UFC). Wrestling was also the final, and decisive, event in the ancient pentathlon. Other events came, mostly track and field, with some equestrian events, but these were the mainstays.

So why did this group of 15 IOC officials get rid of the purest form of athletic competition? This ultimate personal test of strength, skill and will? Ratings, mostly, although they admit personal proclivity and emotional judgement had an impact on their decision.

What qualifies these 15 to decide? Many of them are “athletes”, and some are even athletes. Here is a respective breakdown of the sports in which they competed on the international stage: Yachting, Fencing (foil), hurdles, badminton, NONE, NONE, NONE, basketball(kind of), Hockey (club), Judo, Fencing (epee), NONE, pole vault, baseball(not MLB), and NONE.

I don’t think I’m taking anything out of context by pointing out that yachting, badminton, fencing, and judo weren’t even on the chopping block. Not that I think fencing should be cut, but yachting?

The IOC could have shaved some of these core sports down a little and kept wrestling. Hell, they could have lost dressage, synchronized swimming, rythmic gymnastics team and individual (ribbon twirling), handball, and badminton and had plenty of room to not only keep wrestling but to expand it by adding mixed martial arts in the form of pankration. Hell, if they are so focused on having a limited amount of core sports they could have made one of those “Martial Arts” and lumped in wrestling, judo, boxing, and taekwondo.

I am so angry I could spit, and mostly there’s nothing I can do about it. Being powerless in the face of oppressive ignorance is a horrible feeling. Wait, there is something I can do about it.

I can mail those #+&#$%S a crap sandwich. The next time I take Karlos out for a walk I’ll bring a bag to collect deer crap, and then slap it in a nice baguette and mail it those bastards. I saw on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods that they eat droppings in some parts of the world, so it’s not like I’m doing anything illegal.

In fact, if their judgement about food is as effed up as it is about what actual Olympic competition entails, I might be doing them a favor.

I’ll follow up with an address if you want to send them a $#!+ sandwich too, or maybe just hate mail.

Update 1

The Russian Olympic Committee is formally protesting the IOC’s moronic decision. If you want to encourage the US Olympic Committee to do the same you can reach them here:

1 Olympic Plz Colorado Springs, CO 80909 (719) 632-5551

I will be calling and writing today to register my complaint and encourage action. I think a strike is in order, and no, not a drone strike (not yet) but a labor strike.

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