The Olympics Cut 56 Wrestlers From 2020

Tony Rotundo
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the addition of five new sports and 15 new events for the 2020 Tokyo Games. According to the IOC, the purpose for these changes is so that the Olympic Games will be "more youthful, more urban, and will include more women."

Unfortunately, the IOC will not be expanding the overall size of the games, and so those new events and athletes will come at the expense of the old programming from the 2016 Rio Games.

To the surprise of no one, wrestling was on the receiving end of those cuts, losing 56 spots from the 344 wrestlers who participated in Rio. The 285 wrestling slots allocated for Tokyo will be divided equally among Greco-Roman, men's freestyle, and women's freestyle and their six respective weights, equating to 16 wrestlers per weight class. 

The five new sports being added to the 2020 lineup are climbing, skateboarding, karate, surfing, and baseball and softball. The IOC provided this handy pie chart, which helpfully indicates that each new sport will constitute one-fifth of the five new sports being added. 

null

Wrestling won't be the only sport that will have a diminished presence in Tokyo. Track and field will lose over 100 spots, and weightlifting will be losing 64 participants and one of the men's weight classes. 

The full breakdown of the number of new events can be found in the table below.

SPORT NO. DESCRIPTION
Aquatics (Swimming) 3 800m (M) & 1500m (W) & 4x100m Medley Mixed Relay
Archery 1 Mixed Team Event
Athletics 1 4x400m Mixed Relay
Basketball 2 3x3 (M/W)
Boxing 0 Transfer of two men's events to two women's events
Canoe 0 Transfer of three men's events to three women's events
Cycling (BMX) 2 BMX Freestyle Park (M/W)
Cycling (Track) 2 Madison (M/W)
Fencing 2 Team Events (M/W)
Judo 1 Mixed Team Event
Rowing 0 Transfer of one men's event to one women's event
Sailing 0 Transfer of Mixed Multihull to Mixed Foiling Multihull
Shooting 0 Transfer of three men's events to mixed events
Table Tennis 1 Mixed Doubles
Triathlon 1 Mixed Team Relay
Weightlifting -1 Reduction of one men's weight category

The IOC also provided a chart of the number of athletes being added or cut from the existing sports, reproduced below.

SPORT NO. DESCRIPTION
Aquatics (Water Polo) -18 Reduction in Water Polo team size, addition of two women's Water Polo teams
Aquatics (Swimming) -22 Reduction of 22 athletes
Athletics -105 Reduction of 105 athletes
Basketball 64 Inclusion of 3x3 with 8 teams for each gender, +64 athletes (32W/32M)
Boxing 0 Transfer of 44 athletes from men to women
Canoe 0 Transfer of 55 athletes to reach gender balance
Cycling (BMX Racing) 0 Transfer of 8 athletes to reach gender balance
Cycling (MTB) 0 Transfer of 8 athletes to reach gender balance in MTB, transfer of 4 male athletes to BMX Freestyle
Cycling (Road) 0 Transfer of 14 men to BMX Freestyle
Judo 0 Transfer of 38 athletes to reach gender balance
Rowing -24 Reduction of 24 athletes and reach gender balance
Sailing -30 Reduction of 30 athletes and reach gender balance
Shooting -30 Reduction of 30 athletes and reach gender balance
Weightlifting -64 Reduction of 64 athletes and reach gender balance
Wrestling -56 Reduction of 56 athletes across all disciplines and gender balance in Freestyle Wrestling

With the repeated emphasis on gender balance, it is perhaps a surprise that wrestling did not have to reallocate some of its weight classes, as the sport currently has twice as many men's divisions as it does women's. It is safe to assume, however, that the topic did come up.

Back in 2013, after wrestling was dropped from the Olympic Games, the world's oldest and greatest sport won an IOC vote to be readmitted, beating out squash and baseball and softball in the process. Though baseball and softball were later added, squash was once again left out, presumably because it is not either youthful or urban enough. 

Squash will continue to face an uphill battle to be included in the 2024 Games and beyond. With the recent push to include more "exciting," "dynamic," and "righteously tubular" sports, the Olympics will now contest three of the six events featured in the classic Nintendo game, "California Games." If the trend continues, squash will likely be passed over yet again for rollerblading, ultimate frisbee, and hacky sack. 

The entire press release from the IOC can be found here.

Senior Men's Freestyle Dark Horses At The US Open

Josh Conklin

Who's going to come from seemingly out of nowhere to dazzle the crowd in Vegas this weekend? We're highlighting some potential dark horses that are looking to make waves at the U.S. Open and shed their sleeper status. 

2018 US Open Upperweight Preview: 125kg Is Fascinating

Tony Rotundo

It's finally 2018 U.S. Open week. That means the last chance to qualify for the World Team Trials challenge tournament next month in Rochester, MN, as well as the opportunity to win Final X berths at five weights.

Tech Notes: Kyle Dake vs Alex Dieringer

What a great time to be an American Wrestling fan. We’re on top of the world and we haven’t even assembled our best team. This year should be the first time that we see the perennial 74kg log jam thinned out. The way that it looks on paper is JB at 74, Dake at 79, and Taylor at 86. Here’s the thing though, Final X isn’t going to be contested on paper and there are a few people that may have an objection to the USA’s lineup being a foregone conclusion. Namely 3X NCAA champion, Alex Dieringer. Kyle Dake and Alex Dieringer have met up 3 times. Dake has gotten his hand raised each time, but the margin of victory has gotten smaller each time. The last time the two met was in the world team trial challenge tournament finals and Dake won 2-1. There is a good chance that we see Dake/Ringer 4 at the US Open final this weekend (although guys like Zahid Valencia might object to that as a foregone conclusion). 

Top 11 Jr Freestyle Matches We Need To Happen

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
120 lbs Jordan Decatur, OH vs Gavin Teasdale, PA

The 2018 U.S. Open is setting the scene to ignite a number of heated rivalries this weekend in Las Vegas—both old and new.

U.S. Open Big Move Bingo

Austin Bernard

Since you're going to be glued to the action all weekend in Las Vegas, why not have a little fun playing U.S. Open Big Move Bingo?

Top Redshirts To Watch At The U.S. Open

Tony Rotundo
Anthony Ashnault On A Sixth Year

For most NCAA wrestlers who take a redshirt year, there are only a select few times that we get the chance to see them compete during the season.

2018 U.S. Open: UWW Junior Freestyle Preview

Tony Rotundo

The 2018 U.S. Open is not only a showcase for our finest Senior-level talent but also a grand stage for the best young wrestlers in the country. For UWW Juniors, those aged 17-20, it's an opportunity to get a bye to the World Team Trials finals, one step closer to wrestling for the stars and stripes in Slovakia this September.

The Senior Men's Freestyle Matches We're Hoping To See At The Open

Tony Rotundo
74 Semis - Alex Dieringer, TMWC vs Kyle Dake, TMWC

The U.S. Open is right around the corner and the meanest, baddest, and raddest dudes in America are descending on Las Vegas to battle it out in freestyle at the U.S. Open. There will be more awesome matches than is humanly possible to keep track of, so we've highlighted a few of our most highly anticipated bouts.

Biggest Moves To Watch For At The U.S. Open

Tony Rotundo
Behind The Dirt, Daton's Trap Arm

Some of the United States' biggest and baddest stars are slated to throw down at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas this week, and we are bound to see some of their signature moves in action.

Nathan Tomasello Wrestled Season With Torn ACL, Meniscus

Austin Bernard
125 lbs Semifinal - Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State vs Spencer Lee, Iowa

Four-time NCAA All-American Nathan Tomasello released a statement today explaining his injury that kept him sidelined for half the season and plagued him when he returned to the mat for Ohio State in January.