Σάββατο, 16 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Wrestling & the Spirit of the Olympics

Posted: 15 Feb 2013 03:51 AM PST

Deputy Minister for Sports Yiannis Ioannidis decried a shock recommendation made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude wrestling from the 2020 Olympic programme.
In a letter to IOC President Jacques Rogge, Ioannidis said he expressed the feelings of all Greeks and their respect to the history of the sport, emphasising its connection with Greece and the ancient Olympic Games.
"The history, tradition and social acceptance that marks the sport should not be sacrificed on the altar of media ratings and marketing," Ioannidis noted, adding that wrestling has a huge global appeal with 180 countries being members of the International Wrestling Federation.
The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) urged the IOC to reverse its decision on a sport has practiced since antiquity that was also part of the first modern Olympics in 1896."This is undoubtedly a decision against the history of the Olympics and of sports in general," the HOC said in a statement.


With a final decision resting with the IOC session in September, the sports community worldwide has joined the Greek Wrestling Federation in condemning the recommendation by reciting the Olympic Hymn: "…at running, wrestling and throwing."
  • A Break With Ancient Games?
"An end to Olympic wrestling would be a brutal break with the ancient Games," Cambridge University Professor, Paul Cartledge, writes in the Guardian. "Milon, the legendary ancient wrestler, would surely be revolving in his grave now if he had heard the IOC announcement," he comments, and calls on the IOC to not allow "this particular link between ancient and modern, between them and us" to be "so brutally snapped."
The newspaper is also holding an online survey on the subject, while a twitter campaign has also been launched to get wrestling back in, hoping to get 300k retweets and 150k followers.
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