Commencing with the 2020 Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week proposed dropping wrestling as an Olympic sport.
The world-wide wrestling community is certainly not going to take this proposal lying down. Indeed, the members of the IOC should be careful of finding themselves laterally dropped -- in the blink of an eye.
Back in ancient Greece, wrestling was one of the primary events that drew together disparate peoples and warring factions in the spirit of non-killing civility. And these periodic games were the inspiration for, and precursor to, the modern Olympic Games, born in 1896.
None of us know all of the factors that led to the recommendation to drop wrestling. And it does little good to denigrate other Olympic sports, deeming any of them a better choice for elimination.
However, it seems to me that dropping wrestling would begin to drain the very lifeblood of the Olympic Games.
Jim Souhan, sports columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, encapsulated so well the feelings of so many when he recently stated, "Wrestling is, historically and philosophically, a seminal Olympic sport, a primal test of strength, skill, toughness and willpower."
Thomas Neil Tomporowki