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Wrestling Out Of The Olympics

Most of you will have no reaction to the news that the International Olympic Committee is planning to toss wrestling out of the 2020 Olympics and that’s understandable.  However the elimination of the sport is big news in the shore area and throughout New Jersey where high school and college wrestling is indeed important to many. 

Jacob Stephen Varner of the United States celebrates with his gold medal for Men's Freestyle 96 kg Wrestling
Jacob Stephen Varner of the United States celebrates with his gold medal for Men’s Freestyle 96 kg Wrestling at the 2012 Summer Olympics (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

In just a few weeks Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City will attract thousands of fans for the NJSIAA Individual Championships and some of the wrestlers on the mat will have aspirations of one day wrestling in the Olympics.

However like in so many other cases their dreams will die because of money.

Wrestling has been an Olympic sport since the beginning of the modern games in 1896 in Athens, Greece and it’s been a sport that Americans have been very successful in.   Only in Track & Field and Swimming have U.S. athletes won more medals than wrestling but for now the 2016 Olympics will be the final one that includes the sport.

The executive board of the IOC wants to remove one sport on its current summer program so they can add one later in the year and wrestling got the cut over modern pentathlon, a sport that combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting.  Wrestling got body slammed because it ranked low in ticket sales, TV ratings, press coverage and internet hits among other factors during the London Games last summer.

The Olympics likes to brag about its history and tradition but the decision to drop wrestling sends the same message we keep hearing time and time again: it’s all about the money.

Form pretty much held up on the opening night of the Shore Conference Basketball Tournament.  The lone upset on the boys side saw 24th seed Matawan knock off #9 Red Bank Catholic.  Among the interesting round of 16 matchups tomorrow night will be defending champion Neptune at Point Beach.

Girl’s highlights saw Monsignor Donovan top Toms River North as Griffins junior Dana Carbone joined the schools 1000 point club.  Next up for Donovan is a date with undefeated Point Beach Thursday night.

 

 

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