On Sunday 8th September, presentations to the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aries will be made by Baseball-Softball, Squash and Wrestling between 2:30pm and 4pm. In the space of half an hour, each sport will make the case why they should be the sport to be included the Olympics in 2020 and 2024.
Following a vote by the 105-member session, the result will be broadcast in an announcement by IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge at approx 4:45pm (all times adjusted to UK).
Wrestling’s case is built on the significant and lasting changes that it has introduced since the recommendation on 12th February by the IOC Executive Board that Wrestling should not be one of the Olympic core sports after 2016.
Since February, Wrestling has significantly improved on the three major areas of IOC concern; rules of the sport, internal governance and gender equity.
- A new and inclusive President, Mr Nenad Lalovic from Serbia, was elected
- New rules that make the sport more attractive to athletes and more exciting for both audiences and broadcasters e.g.
- 2x 3 minute rounds instead of 2x 2minute rounds, penalties for passivity
- A better scoring system, with bouts being decided on the basis of cumulative points (rather than best of three rounds)
- penalties for prolonged period of passivity
- An improved governance structure
- For the first time within the 19-member FILA Bureau, (the International Federation’s Executive Board,) positions have been confirmed for both three female representatives and three athlete representatives
- There will now be 15 Commissions under the Bureau, both new and restructured with, as an example, media separated from marketing and sponsorship
- There will be no Bureau members on the Referees’ Commission which will be independent and transparent
- There are plans to raise the profile of athletes in the sport
- An Athletes’ Commission with voting representatives on the FILA Bureau
- There are also further plans to raise the profile of women in the sport
- Amongst the 15 Commissions, there is planned to be a women’s Commission. There will be a mandatory female vice-president position on the FILA Bureau, additional roles in the leadership
- Two more weight classes for women will be added, effective for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janiero. The number of weight classes in Greco-Roman, Men’s Freestyle and Women’s Freestyle are now scheduled to be equal at 6-6-6. The weights will be announced at the forthcoming World Championships in Hungary, 16-22 September.
The FILA Presentation Panel:
- President Nenad Lalovic of Serbia, the current President of FILA.
- Carol Huynh of Canada won the gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics at 48kg, and a bronze at the 2012 London Game.
- Lise Legrand of France is a Vice President of the French Wrestling Federation, an Athens 2004 bronze Medalist and 1996 World Championships bronze medalist.
- Daniel Igali is a Nigerian-Canadian wrestler who won the 69kg gold medal for Canada in freestyle at the 2000 Olympic Games.
- Jim Scherr represented the United States at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and was the first Olympian to ever lead the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), where he served from 2005 to 2009.
The FILA presenters are the same five who presented in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 29.
Wrestling has shown the power that sport has to unite otherwise divided nations and individuals. The USA, Russia and Iran held a joint press conference at the headquarters of the United Nations, the first ever such joint press conference in the UN’s history, illustrative of the deep passion held for Wrestling in these countries.
Millions of people are now united, fighting together to save Olympic Wrestling. It is hoped that Sunday’s presentation is successful!