Coaches talk about Olympics
Friday, February 15, 2013
Dana Bourassa had the reaction a high school wrestling coach of 30-plus years would be expected to have.
“Why take out the oldest sport in the world?” Bourassa said when he was first informed that the International Olympic Committee voted to drop wrestling.
The IOC announced Tuesday that, starting with the 2020 summer games, wrestling will no longer be an Olympic sport, which it has been since the first modern games, held in 1896.
The decision came as a shock to members of the high school wrestling community in Greater Nashua.
“It’s the pinnacle of a wrestling career,” Hollis Brookline wrestling coach Brian Bumpus said. “There’s no professional stage for wrestling. For a sport that has been around for as long as it has, for them to decide to take it out and put it on a list of maybes, seems ridiculous.”
The decision was made by several rounds of
according to IOC
spokesman Mark Adams, with each member voting in each round for the sport to not be included in the core group.
Wrestling was one of four sports in the final group, along with field hockey, taekwondo and the modern pentathlon, an event consisting of fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting.
“Wrestling has always been considered, of all the sports, one of the true sports,” Bourassa said. “There’s no gun or bow and arrow. There’s no equipment, just you and the other person. That’s what athletic competition boils down to.”
Bumpus wondered what effect the decision would have on countries whose majority of Olympians are wrestlers.
“A lot of Middle Eastern countries, and Russia and Turkey, that’s their sport,” he said. “Here, it’s a big deal in the wrestling community. Maybe it’s not a big deal across the country, but to (other countries), it’s a national thing.
“We’re making progress (here) to get wrestling on the map, and now we’re taking a step back.”