Tuesday,25 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1160, (15 - 21 August 2013)
Tuesday,25 September, 2018
Issue 1160, (15 - 21 August 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Saving Olympic wrestling

Al-Ahram Weekly

The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, FILA, has called on wrestlers of the world to rally for reinstatement the sport in the 2020 Olympics. Their motto: “Together we will succeed!”
In February 2013, the IOC voted to remove the sport from the 2020 Summer Olympics onwards. The wrestling community is fighting to have the sport reinstated.
The global wrestling community is coming together once again, this time across various forms of social media as FILA launches the #TakeAStance campaign.
FILA is encouraging wrestlers, fans and supporters all over the world to send photos of themselves, in their wrestling stance, to takeastancewrestling@gmail.com and to be uploaded on the FILA Official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fila.official.
Additionally, all Olympic wrestling fans are invited to post images on Facebook and Twitter, of themselves, their friends or teammates, in the classic wrestling stance with the hashtag #TakeAStance. FILA will be monitoring the hashtag and will share and retweet some of their favourites.
“#TakeAStance is an easy way for all wrestling fans, from around the world, to show their support for Olympic wrestling,” said FILA President Nenad Lalovic. “Regardless of which one of our 177 national federations you wrestle for or support, we encourage everyone that wants to Save Olympic Wrestling to take part in this fun and engaging social media campaign.”
In addition to the photo initiative, FILA is offering the wrestling community another way to #TakeAStance. FILA recently launched a Thunderclap drive. Thunderclap is a social media tool that allows users to donate one post and/or Tweet to amplify their cause through one unified message shared by multiple users. On 12 August at 12 noon EST, across hundreds of unique Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts, the message “Did you know YOU can help Save Olympic Wrestling? Help me spread the word today” was shared in unison, creating a swell of support to keep wrestling in the Olympic Games.
The #TakeAStance movement will run until the final vote at the 125th International Olympic Committee Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in September.  Fans can follow FILA on Twitter @FILA_Official or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fila.official.
Because of growing costs, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had been under pressure to reduce the number of events and the number of athletes in each summer game. The IOC has adopted a system where “core sports” would continue indefinitely in future Olympics, but “non-core” sports would be selected for inclusion on an Olympic game-by-game basis. Currently, wrestling is one of the 26 core sports. However, following the London Olympics, the IOC’s Executive Committee conducted a study of the 26 core sports in terms of their success at the London Olympics as well as world-wide grassroots support. The study sought to trim one core sport so that starting with the 2020 Olympics, only 25 core sports would continue to make room for one non-core sport. On 12 February this year the IOC Executive Board voted to recommend that wrestling be dropped as a core sport. If approved by the full IOC, wrestling will have to compete with seven other non-core sports -- baseball/softball, squash, karate, sport climbing, wakeboarding, wushu and roller sports -- for a place in the 2020 Games.
The absence of wrestling could affect Egypt’s medal tally at the Games. Karem Gaber won a heavyweight gold medal in Athens in 2004 and a silver in the 2012 London Olympics.
Wrestling had been contested at the Summer Olympic Games since the sport was introduced in the ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC. When the modern Olympic Games resumed in Athens in 1896, wrestling became a focus of the Games, with the exception of the 1900 Summer Olympics when wrestling did not appear on the programme. Freestyle wrestling and weight classes both made their first appearance in 1904. The women’s competition was introduced in 2004. Along with boxing, it is one of only two sports that still require participants to have amateur status to participate in the Olympics.

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