9 Wrestling Facts You May Not Know

9 Wrestling Facts You May Not Know

Wrestling is so old, it's almost ingrained into mankind itself. Here are nine facts about the amazing sport that continues to grow!

May 1, 2020 by Alex Rees
9 Wrestling Facts You May Not Know

Wrestling has been around almost as long as mankind, and it stands to reason it'll be here till we're gone. It's one of the most natural, pure sports on the planet and it can be competed in by anyone, regardless of size or gender. 

Here are nine interesting facts you may not have known about the great sport!

1. Wrestling is the world's oldest sport

The sport of wrestling dates as far back as before 3000 BC. There are ancient drawings in caves depicting wrestling moves and techniques still used to this day. The earliest known literary references to the sport appear in the Old Testament and in the Vedas (an ancient collection of Sanskrit literature and Hindu scripture).

2. Wrestling was one of the original Olympic sports (and peacemakers)

Dating back to before 700 BC, wrestling was one of the sports in the earliest Greek Olympic Games. Since people were looking for a form of competition that could replace deadly conflict, wrestling became the ultimate alternative and "truce." It can now be considered one of the great peacemakers in ancient history. 

3. Wrestling is extremely diverse

More than 200 countries worldwide compete in wrestling, and it welcomes people of every size, shape, and gender. At the 2012 London Olympics, members of 29 different countries medaled, while a total of 71 different nations competed. 

4. First U.S. tournament was in New York City in 1888

Wrestling became popular in North America both in the Native American population and in the early colonial settlements. Amateur wrestling was popular across the colonies, and was a frequented attraction at county fairs. 

5. Wrestling is apart of many mythological stories

Wrestling has been popular in a number of old mythological texts. There was the Epic of Gilgamesh, where Gilgamesh earns the right to be leader by wrestling Enkidu. Then there was the Illiad, where Odysseus wrestles with Aias. In the Hebrew Book of Genesis, Jacob wrestles with the angel, subsequently receiving the name "Israel," which means "to wrestle with God." In the Mahabharata, Brhima and Jarasandha wrestle with one another. 

6. The United States swept the 1904 Olympics

Freestyle wrestling was first introduced to the Olympics at the 1904 games in Saint Louis, and it turned out to be an American whitewash. Of the seven freestyle wrestling events recorded, Americans took gold, silver, and bronze in each and every event. 

7. Some NFL Hall of Famers were big-time wrestlers

It should come as no surprise that hundreds of NFL stars wrestled in their youth, given how well wrestling translates to other sports. Hall of Famer Ray Lewis was a two-time high school state champion wrestler in Florida, future Hall of Famer Steve Wisniewski was a state champion in California, and fellow future Hall of Famer Lorenzo Neal was a Collegiate All-American wrestler at Fresno State in 1992. 

8. Girls wrestling is gaining steam

While boys wrestling has always been near the forefront of youth and high school sports, girls wrestling has only recently began to emerge into the fray. While other high schools sports are seeing a dip in participation, girls wrestling saw a 30% increase in 2018, and nearly half the states in the country had sponsored girls wrestling tournaments in 2019. 

9. FloSports is the home of wrestling

Nobody covers the great sport of wrestling like FloSports does! FloWrestling is passionate about the sport like no other and delivers the best for its fans!