Sushil kumar needs no introduction. He brought laurels to the country after winning a silver medal in the London Olympics. Wrestling became a household sport after that. States have been running training institutes like Akharas with hopes that one day they will be able to bring more medals into the country.
But all such hopes will change to despair because the sport they are working hard at may not even be a part of the next Olympics. Recently, the IOC executive board took the decision to scrap wrestling from 2020 Olympic Games.
Wrestling will now join seven other sports — baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu, vying for a single opening in 2020.
Although the decision is not final as all scheduled eight sports are supposed to make a presentation to the IOC board at St. Petersburg, Russia and only then, after final voting, will their fate be decided.
But why has wrestling been put in this precarious position?
It is hard to even imagine Olympics without wrestling. Wrestling is one of the most ancient sports and has been a part of the Olympics since 1896.
India’s association with the game is also very old. Kushti is been mentioned in the Mahabharata. So wrestling is at least as old as our civilisation.
It is really sad that the IOC board is contemplating throwing out one of the most popular sports ever on flimsy grounds. All Asian nations must show united face on this issue so that wrestling is brought back again for 2020 Olympics. Our countrymen should also pray that their beloved sport might not suffer an untimely international death.