IOC dashes wrestlers' dreams
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013 06:00 am
There were more than 150 young men and women with aspirations of winning a provincial championship in High River last weekend.
Unfortunately, for wrestlers like Foothills Falcon Cassidy Barnert, Holy Trinity Academy Knight Christian Nori and Highwood Mustang Hanna Dayment, who all won gold at the rural provincial high school championships in High River, they can no longer have Olympic inspirations.
The members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who decided two weeks ago to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympics in Rio werenít at the Highwood High School gymnasium to witness the wrestlers strive for their goals.
If so, the Olympic committee might not have eliminated a sport as ancient as the Olympics themselves.
The High River meet did not have the international flavour of the Olympics, but it did show a sport allowing men and women of all sizes to compete at a high level.
Itís a sport that truly has worldwide appeal. In fact, the IOC in its infinite wisdom has eliminated a sport highly popular in Japan and Turkey, two of the nations being considered for hosting the Games in 2020.
Wrestling is being eliminated, partially due to the sport not having the so-called mass appeal of other sports considered for the 2020 Olympics. Those sports include wakeboarding, baseball (again), squash, roller sports and sports climbing.
Of course, when the Olympic committee says appeal it means TV and selling commercial time.
Maybe the Olympics should change its motto, to Faster, High Ratings, and Stronger.Ē
Olympic dreams have been dashed for the likes of Barnert and the young wrestlers in High River last weekend. Former Highwood Mustang coach Bill Young, who has won 10 provincial high school championships, said the worst part of the decision is it no longer gives wrestlers something for which to aspire.
Olympic wrestling is not necessarily down for the count. The wrestling community is rallying support and hoping to get the decision reversed when the IOC meets in September. If the decision isnít reversed, wrestlers like Barnert, will have their Olympic dreams dashed.
That is, unless she takes up wakeboarding.