Sunday, September 8, 2013

International Olympic Committee decides that, despite poor TV ratings, wrestling can stay after all

Wrestling's international governing body, FILA, ousted its president, spent millions on a global PR/lobbying blitz, simplified rules, added women's weight classes and considered changing mat colors and restyling singlets to reboot the sport's Olympic presentation in an apparent attempt to boost TV ratings to help wrestling better offset the out-of-control costs of the modern games. Said the Washington Post:
     After a seven-month exile, wrestling reclaimed its place on the Olympic stage Sunday, beating squash and a combined bid by baseball and softball for the lone remaining spot on the program for the 2020 and 2024 Summer Games.
Iowa wrestler
     Persuaded that the ancient sport is committed to remaking itself to appeal to a more diverse, contemporary audience, a majority of International Olympic Committee delegates favored wrestling’s addition in first-round balloting held in Buenos Aires.
     Wrestling drew 49 votes; baseball-softball, 24; and squash, 22, after representatives of each made one final, 20-minute sales pitch about how their sport could strengthen the 21st century Olympic brand.

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