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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

OT: IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics

Okay, the batted-ball sports no longer have the biggest gripe with the IOC.

IOC leaders dropped wrestling from the Olympic program on Tuesday, a surprise decision that removes one of the oldest Olympic sports from the 2020 Games.

The IOC executive board decided to retain modern pentathlon — the event considered most at risk — and remove wrestling instead from its list of 25 “core sports.”

The IOC board acted after reviewing the 26 sports on the current Olympic program. Eliminating one sport allows the International Olympic Committee to add a new sport to the program later this year.
...
Wrestling will now join seven other sports in applying for inclusion in 2020. The others are a combined bid from baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu. They will be vying for a single opening in 2020.

Gamingboy Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM | 133 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off-topic, olympics, wrestling

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   1. Sean Forman Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4368311)
I'll bite. As a former season ticket holder to Iowa Hawkeye wrestling (yes, they sometimes sellout their 15,000 seat arena) I can't believe this move. Nothing is more olympics than wrestling. Nothing.
   2. steagles Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4368318)
i posted this in another thread since i didn't see this one:
i can kind of understand taking baseball out of the olympics considering the lack of major leaguers and the overall lack of interest, but why the hell would they get rid of wrestling? forget for a second that wrestling has a history going back to ancient greece, and just focus on the fact that it's the perfect sport for an international competition. you can be competitive in it regardless of whether you come from a country with money or without, with more than 1 billion people or with less than 1 million, whether you're from africa or siberia, or iran or brazil, whether you're 120 lbs or 280, you can compete and you can win.

it is unfathomable to me that this could even be considered, let alone be done.

   3. Joe OBrien Posted: February 12, 2013 at 06:57 PM (#4368319)
I love the Olympics, but I really, really hate the IOC.
   4. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4368324)
So, yes to field hockey and no to wrestling. Makes perfect sense.
   5. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:07 PM (#4368327)
So, yes to field hockey and no to wrestling. Makes perfect sense.

I'm assuming gender considerations factor into that?
   6. Swedish Chef Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:17 PM (#4368333)
The Olympic wrestling has slowly become unwatchable over the last few games. Maybe a big kick in the balls is what the sport needs.
   7. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4368335)
Does this mean Ric Flair has to give back his medals?
   8. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:23 PM (#4368338)
Nothing is more olympics than wrestling. Nothing.


Yep.

I'm assuming gender considerations factor into that?


There has been women's freestyle wrestling at the last three Olympics. So probably no.
   9. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:28 PM (#4368340)
I'm glad modern pentathlon made the cut, but dropping wrestling is just a terrible idea.
   10. puck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4368341)
Nothing is more olympics than wrestling. Nothing.

Yep.

I was going to mention "nothing is more Olympics than wrestling...than nude wrestling."
   11. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4368344)
I'm glad we're cutting down on the frou frou and getting down to the core sports that the Olympics were always about, like dancing with a colorful ribbon or dancing with your friend in the water. Maybe if we can cut out some of these track & field events (running around an oval? what year are we in that that's entertaining? 3?), they'll have room for compelling, modern events like double-dutch.
   12. Tripon Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4368350)
The 26 limit for the Olympics is just ridiculousness. You're telling me that only 26 sports can be considered 'Olympic worthy'? YOU ALLOW RHYTHM GYMNASTICS FOR CHRIST SAKES.
   13. Gamingboy Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4368352)
I love the Olympics, but I really, really hate the IOC.


Get in line. I mean, I WANT baseball to be in the Olympics, but it's not a necessity to either baseball or the Olympics. But wrestling NEEDS to be in the Olympics, and the Olympics NEED wrestling to be in it. It's a sport that often provides some of the best moments, and unlike some sports it isn't really dominated by any one country. Sure, Eastern Europe and the USA do the best, but Canada and the Mid-East do well too. As opposed to, say, table tennis, which is 100% Asian dominated, or rhythmic gymnastics, which basically is a showcase simply for Eastern Europe and occasionally China.

And, besides, WRESTLING HAS BEEN IN THE OLYMPICS SINCE ANCIENT ####### TIMES! I mean, jeez, why not remove Track and Field while you are at it?

I still say that the Olympics should be something like 20 sports that are always in and never are removed (and Wrestling would be one of them), and then 6+ sports (depending on finances and available venues) that can be left up to the host, so long as those sports have been "recognized" by the IOC.

So, like, if the USA had the Olympics, then baseball and softball would definitely be in while a sport like table tennis or handball might not be. On the other hand, though, if Turkey got the Olympics (they are in the running for 2020), then baseball and softball probably wouldn't be played, but other sports that are more popular or played more in Turkey could be.
   14. bobm Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:45 PM (#4368353)
[10] The Olympics could use more authentic nude events.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=gymnasium&allowed_in_frame=0

gymnasium (n.) 1590s, "place of exercise," from Latin gymnasium "school for gymnastics," from Greek gymnasion "public place where athletic exercises are practiced; gymnastics school," in plural, "bodily exercises," from gymnazein "to exercise or train," literally or figuratively, literally "to train naked," from gymnos "naked"




   15. Greg K Posted: February 12, 2013 at 07:57 PM (#4368357)
Stephen Fry told me that Greek athletes weren't entirely unadorned. They did have a bit of string tied off around their genitals to keep them from flopping about (and which their coaches could tug on to get their attention).

QI is where I turn to get all my most accurate historical information.
   16. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4368361)
The is may be the death for wrestling in the US with so many colleges having dumped it, the loss of its olympic status could cause more schools to drop it
   17. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:12 PM (#4368369)
Men's field hockey is huge in the Indian subcontinent.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4368371)

I think they should have more swimming events.
Not really.

Memo to IOC: If someone can win 7 or 8 medals in the same Olympics, that's a bug, not a feature. It means you have too many events in that sport.
   19. Scott Lange Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4368373)
Just as with baseball, wrestling is a victim of a crooked, Western Europe-dominated IOC. Baseball is popular in Asia and the Americas, but not Western Europe, so its out. Wrestling is huge pretty much everywhere but Western Europe, so its out. Of course, with baseball there were at least a few legitimate factors that cut against inclusion. Here, its next to impossible to see what legitimate factors cut against wrestling relative to about half of the other sports. Modern pentathlon is an obvious one, but what is the legitimate argument for cutting wrestling and keeping archery? Badminton? Canoeing? Judo? Rowing? Sailing? Shooting? Taekwondo? Its not TV ratings or attendance. Its sure as hell not "global participation and popularity." I don't know anything about the anti-doping policy of wrestling, but I haven't heard anything particularly negative and apparently cycling is OK, so I can't imagine that's a factor.

If only there were a world government so I could write my representative to complain.
   20. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:18 PM (#4368374)
I love the Olympics, but I really, really hate the IOC.

So much this.

WRESTLING HAS BEEN IN THE OLYMPICS SINCE ANCIENT ####### TIMES!

One word: Pankration.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4368379)
the pentathalon had one of their biggest supporters on the committee voting. so that helped the sport staying on the docket

old ex-wrestler and coach so this cuts to the quick for me. i always tuned in olympic wrestling, both freestyle and greco=roman

sighn
   22. John Northey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:46 PM (#4368386)
Checking http://www.olympic.org/sports I see the sports that are still there...
Triathalon, rowing, sailing, shooting, archery, judo, modern pentathlon, canoeing/kayak, aquatics, athletics, equestrian, gymnastics, taekwondo, boxing, weightlifting, golf, fencing, cycling, volleyball, field hockey, basketball, handball, football (soccer), rugby, badminton, table tennis, tennis.

That's 27 sports plus wrestling. Guessing a couple of cases are merged but listed separately for some reason. Now, can someone explain why equestrian is there, or sailing? Both sports purely for the rich with minimal if any TV audience. Shooting? That makes golf look exhausting. Pentathlon is just a bizarre mix. Weightlifting should probably be removed due to the crazy level of PED use - the average weightlifter makes Barry Bonds look normal. The rest I can see an argument for (table tennis is very big in Asia for example) but those ones are just weird to keep over wrestling, baseball, squash and probably a few of the others in consideration.

If roller sports gets in though I'd have to say the IOC has really 'jumped the shark'...heck, jumped every shark there is.
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 08:54 PM (#4368390)
I'm hoping the plan is to replace plain old boring wrestling with awesome cool pro-wrestling.
   24. steagles Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4368400)
I'm hoping the plan is to replace plain old boring wrestling with awesome cool pro-wrestling.
i'd pay good money to see a grudge match between cliff compton and power uti.
   25. Gamingboy Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4368403)

the pentathalon had one of their biggest supporters on the committee voting. so that helped the sport staying on the docket


Yeah, apparently it had a lot to do with the fact that Antonio Samaranch's son is a big-time name in Modern Pentathlon. Of course, Samaranch, if memory serves, was a "Big Olympics" kind of guy who didn't mind having lots of sports in the games. Compare that to Rogge, who is generally a "small games" kind of guy, and who basically drove the movement to have the amount of sports be capped. It'll be interesting to see who takes over for him, and whether he's a big games guy or a small games guy.


I agree with the principle behind it- it allows smaller countries to host Olympic games, for example- but that it forces all these sports to go against each other leaves a sour taste in my mouth. That's another reason why I like my idea of having 20 or so sports guaranteed and then a minimum of 6 added by the host: it could be the best of both worlds. If a city in a smaller economy like, say, South Africa, wants to have the games, they can just have 26. But if a Los Angeles were to get the games, they could conceivably have over 30 sports being played.

I'm hoping the plan is to replace plain old boring wrestling with awesome cool pro-wrestling.

If a wrestling promoter creates an IOC-member character as a heel, I totally will watch.
   26. puck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:25 PM (#4368406)
I agree with the principle behind it- it allows smaller countries to host Olympic games, for example

Even then, wrestling seems an odd one to cut. You don't need a specialized arena for it. Kayaking OTOH...
   27. puck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 09:58 PM (#4368416)
Does Olympic soccer or golf get good ratings? You'd think those would be the ones to cut (and I am a soccer fan) since the Olympics are not even close to the pinnacle of the sport.
   28. Eric Ferguson Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4368418)
STEAGLES, you and I need to be friends.

#KICKHIMINTHEBALLS!!!
   29. depletion Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4368426)
I've only wrestled for 5 minutes or so in high school gym, but I find it a lot of fun to watch. As mentioned above, you need exactly zero gear to do it. Anyone who has seen Chris Taylor's undoing by the Bulgarian wrestler or Rulon Gardner beating the invincible Russian could not forget those scenes.
Why the heck have tennis or soccer in the Olympics? Those games are played in a worldwide sense all the time. Obviously this was done to make room for men's synchronized swimming.
   30. John Northey Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM (#4368431)
Seems silly to be saying 'small places can have the games' as the cost is astronomical to run one no matter what. Cutting baseball/softball made sense as the stadiums were good for just those sports and counted for just 2 medal ceremonies while needing 20+ players per team. I hated seeing them cut, but certainly understand it. Cycling track is also one that probably should be cut in the respect of keeping costs down - the cycling track in Montreal (1976) was turned into a place for plants for example and is good only for cycling really. Golf would be good for just golf, but given any major city in the world that could hold an Olympics would already have a high end golf course I don't see it as a barrier. Canoe/kayak, rowing, and sailing just need a big body of water with markers don't they? That should keep their costs down.

IMO they should keep it big. But oddball stuff like adding trampoline, the dozens of similar events (multiple weight classes, the many lengths of running, etc.) could be cut back with 99% of people never noticing I suspect. Still trying to figure out 'dressage' for horses and how that remotely qualifies as a sport (you have your horse basically prance around the ring).

If cutbacks or limits are needed, I say have a number of venue limit so you don't add baseball or golf for that matter but keep things like wrestling which can share a venue with other sports. Figure out something that can make use of the cycling racetrack or get rid of it. That type of stuff would actually cut costs. Beach volleyball might be a one-off 'stadium' but given it is just a giant sandbox I doubt it is a killer cost and could technically be moved into any other arena... hmm, maybe put it at the center of the cycling stadium and have them doing beach volleyball with cyclists zipping around.
   31. puck Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4368435)
Why the heck have tennis or soccer in the Olympics?

I assume tennis makes tv money? Maybe soccer, too. Though that's mostly a junior tournament in the Olympics (U-23's with 3 over-age players).
   32. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 12, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4368442)
A fair number of these venues (in London) were temporary, such as Beach vball arena, and the larger stadia, were basically repurposed.

Getting rid of wrestling is kind of like McDonald's getting rid of fries.
   33. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:25 PM (#4368459)
If roller sports gets in though I'd have to say the IOC has really 'jumped the shark'...heck, jumped every shark there is.

Didn't they already do that when they merged the Winter Olympic Games with the Winter X Games?
   34. Walt Davis Posted: February 12, 2013 at 11:49 PM (#4368469)
I'm assuming gender considerations factor into that?

Field hockey is mainly a men's sport outside the US, probably especially in countries that don't have ice hockey. From the wiki:

Men's hockey became a permanent feature at the next Olympic Games, the 1928 Games in Amsterdam.

The first women's Olympic hockey competition was held at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Anyway, I agree, wrestling is the sort of sport the Olympics are all about. I'd gladly drop basketball before wrestling.

And have they really dropped wrestling while keeping judo, etc?

   35. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:46 AM (#4368496)
There are people bouncing around on ####### trampolines at the olympics, but no wrestling.

   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:58 AM (#4368499)
Wresting probably doesn't get the TV ratings in the US --which brings in most of the Olympic money -- but eliminating wrestling is like the Nobel Prize Committee dropping Medicine. Reflects very poorly on the IOC.
   37. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:01 AM (#4368500)
I read a possible explanation, with fun IOC bashing: Tae kwon do was kept on, because that sport is big in Korea. A big IOC sponsor is from Korea.

Keeping things in perspective, I hate the NCAA more.
   38. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:10 AM (#4368503)
Of the 39 gold medals that Turkey has won, 28 of them have been in wrestling (and 58 of 87 total medals).
Istanbul is in the running for the 2020 Olympics, so I can't imagine that wrestling will be missing from the competition if they win the bid.
That would be like taking out ice hockey when Vancouver won the winter Olympic bid, or taking out soccer from the London summer Olympic games.

The IOC is definitely going to reverse course and put wrestling back in if Istanbul is selected.



   39. steagles Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:46 AM (#4368511)
STEAGLES, you and I need to be friends.

#KICKHIMINTHEBALLS!!!
this is professional wrestling and that is 100% legal. but it is not very sportsmanlike.
   40. OsunaSakata Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:57 AM (#4368530)
If roller sports gets in though I'd have to say the IOC has really 'jumped the shark'...heck, jumped every shark there is.


Until shark-jumping becomes an Olympic sport.

Canoe/kayak, rowing, and sailing just need a big body of water with markers don't they?


Whitewater kayak/canoe requires a course with enough rocks to be sufficiently challenging. Atlanta made a big deal out of using a real river instead of a man-made course. I love watching whitewater rowing on television.
   41. Ebessan Posted: February 13, 2013 at 08:49 AM (#4368544)
The wushu nomination is my favorite. Here's the nations that won multiple golds at the last Wushu World Championships, which consisted of about 60 events:

China.
Hong Kong.
Iran.
Macau.
Philippines.
Russia.


Nothing shady with any of those countries!
   42. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4368561)
I love the Olympics (especially on multiple channels with a DVR - fast forward right through the heartwarming crap) and Hate the IOC. I love the goofy sports you never see normally. I would much rather they get rid of basketball (and I am a huge b-ball fan) than any of the sports I watch only once every four years.

But I basically sign off of the sentiment above, wrestling should stay (and I don't even like it as a sport).
   43. villageidiom Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4368571)
For the naysayers who are ripping trampoline, synchronized swimming, and rhythmic gymnastics... Well, I hate them, too. But per #22 those are part of larger categories, "aquatics" and "gymnastics", that aren't going anywhere. IOW, removing synchronized swimming still leaves "aquatics" as a core event.

Why this definition matters I don't know, but it does. Wrestling isn't being kept out by trampoline.
   44. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4368573)
The IOC is definitely going to reverse course and put wrestling back in if Istanbul is selected.


In that case, they'll probably make sure that Istanbul doesn't win, kind of like Chicago or Tokyo didn't win for 2016, which would have put tremendous pressure on them to re-instate baseball.
   45. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4368577)
Modern Pentathelon vs wrestling.

In London, 71 nations participated in wrestling, contributing 344 athletes. MP had 24 countries contributing 72 athletes. Europe had 13 countries and 45 athletes, as well as 4 of the 6 medal winners, so there's your answer.
   46. bunyon Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4368580)
The IOC is definitely going to reverse course and put wrestling back in if Istanbul is selected.

Duck said it, but this move tells me Istanbul isn't getting the games.

And I'm with everyone else. Holy hell the IOC is crooked/stupid. Wrestling is an Olympic sport, period. I have no doubt lots of the little gimmicky sports require incredible skill and discipline but that isn't the point. I'm not sure what the point is, of course. The Olympics has the marketing and appeal to non-sports fans. There is probably no sport they could cut that would significantly cut ratings. They'd just tell different stories and folks would tune in.

But, to a sports fan, this is one of the dumber things I've ever seen.

Also, as said above, why cap the number of sports at all? I can see capping venues. I can see cutting sports that aren't traditional and aren't global or that have more prestigious competitions (I'm looking at you soccer, golf and tennis). But if all you need is a mat and jersey, have the freaking competition.
   47. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:19 AM (#4368582)
What's truly bizarre is that Europe is increasingly moving towards governance by institutions like the IOC and FIFA. You'd think instances like this would give pause to the enthusiasm for extranational, quasi- or non-democratic organizations.
   48. Dylan B Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:23 AM (#4368584)
Golf and Tennis are the 2 sports that make the least sense to me in having in the Olympics as both are individual events that winning a Gold medal in the Olympics would not be though as high as winning Wimbledon or the Masters. Atleast team event winning gold for you country could be seen higher than winning the World Series, Stanley Cup or the NBA Finals(what is that trophy called anyways?)

   49. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4368586)
So, looking at the finalists to host in 202, I've got to say Madrid is the favorite. Istanbul (have to re-instate wrestling), and Tokyo (have to re-instate baseball) are screwed. Looking ahead to 2024, I'd say the front runner is Dubai.
   50. bunyon Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4368591)
So, clearly, running from bulls will be in the 2020 games. And indoor ski jumping in 2024.
   51. Scott Lange Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4368592)
Good article from SI.

Consider the three cities bidding for the rights to host the Olympics in 2020: Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo. Wrestling is one of the most popular Olympic sports in Turkey. . . The loss of wrestling would be a blow to the Turks. Japan is the leading nation in women's wrestling, with strong contenders today, and presumably eight years down the road, in all four classes. The loss of wrestling would be a blow to the Japanese. But of the nations with bid cities in the mix for 2020, Spain is the most politically powerful of the three. Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the son of the former IOC president, is now an IOC executive board member. Wrestling is not as popular in Spain as it is in the other two countries. Samaranch is also a vice president of modern pentathlon's international committee and one of 15 IOC executive board members who voted on the sport program. No other EB member has direct ties to wrestling, modern pentathlon, taekwondo or field hockey.


Juan Antonio Samaranch was as crooked as they come, and the IOC is no better.
   52. OsunaSakata Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4368648)
NBA Finals(what is that trophy called anyways?)


The Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. The men arrested at the Watergate break-in were in Larry O'Brien's office.
   53. zack Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4368653)
The Olympics are hugely important to Women's soccer, so I wouldn't support cutting that. As it is now, they only really have an important event every 2 years, the world cup and the Olympics.

As for track cycling, well it is awesome and the world needs more velodromes. And they could be made portable if the IOC were really interested in cutting costs.
   54. Ron J2 Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4368660)
#51 Dick Pound was generally considered as Samaranch's likely successor, but he made a lot of enemies with his investigations on the corrupt practices wrt winning hosting bids. Rogge was quite literally the candidate of choice for the corrupt factions.
   55. John Northey Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4368669)
Sad thing is everyone loves the Olympics no matter how corrupt or messed up it is. Kind of like how people support a political party just because they always have regardless of policy or reality. Or a sports team for that matter - how else do you explain how there are still fans of the 100+ years with no title Cubs, the 'give us more money' Marlins, or the sub-500 since pre-strike days Pirates.
   56. Ron J2 Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4368679)
And have they really dropped wrestling while keeping judo, etc?


It's not certain to be gone. It just has very little chance of making the cut. It's now competing against baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu for a slot.

EDIT: Think of it as being in a repechage.

I have to say that (as already mentioned) in recent games the wrestling has been generally dull, dour, defensive. Generally grinding out a low points victory. Maybe I shouldn't complain because that was the only way I ever won, but then I don't think anybody would have found my few bouts at all compelling.

But as dull as they've been, they've been a thrill ride next to the judo that's been on display in recent years.

   57. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: February 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4368685)
It should surprise nobody that the IOC is run by a Belgian.

Up next: Competitive Puppy Eating.
   58. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4368706)
As it happens, about a week ago I finished reading David Clay Large's Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936, & if the author's accounts of the background of not only those Olympics but all the ones before it are in any way accurate, the whole thing has always been about as corrupt & stupid as can be imagined, no matter which incompetent hypocrites happen to have been in charge.
   59. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4368735)
But as dull as they've been, they've been a thrill ride next to the judo that's been on display in recent years.

Ugh, tell me about it.
   60. Gamingboy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4368778)
Although, to be fair to the IOC, they have yet to be bribed into giving a games to Qatar.

Yet.
   61. phredbird Posted: February 13, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4368807)
Nothing is more olympics than wrestling. Nothing.


Yep.


some folks still call it 'wrestling' today! not that there's anything wrong with that.

wrestling falling by the wayside is the chickens coming home to roost from the idiotic media fascination with gymnasts like olga korbut and nadia comenici. gymnastics got popular with women viewers, then the IOC saw the ratings, and so stupid 'sports' like synchronized swimming gained traction.

agree with everyone who thinks this latest move is hella stupid and that the IOC sucks big ones.
   62. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4368860)
Wrestling, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo -- just put them all in one bracket and let them have at each other.
   63. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4368865)
Or a sports team for that matter - how else do you explain how there are still fans of the 100+ years with no title Cubs, the 'give us more money' Marlins, or the sub-500 since pre-strike days Pirates.

Not to mention the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though I suppose I should say, the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs!
   64. just plain joe Posted: February 13, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4368918)
Wrestling, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo -- just put them all in one bracket and let them have at each other.


Hell, yes, a big MMA free for all. This should definitely happen.
   65. Gamingboy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4368980)
The proper olympic name for MMA, Just Plain Joe, is "Pankration". Only with more rules than ancient Pankration.
   66. Papa Squid Posted: February 13, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4368992)

Not to mention the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Pfft. The streak isn't even 50 years old yet. That's chump change in the baseball universe.
   67. base ball chick Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4369030)
wrestling is one of the few olympic sports i like/watch - hot men in skintight, uh, costumes grabbing each other - very HOTTTTTTT

figures they prefer boring shtt like golf - it must bring in more $$ and i guess wrestling doesn't get ratings or $$$. but ?? shooting??? how the **** is that a "sport"???!!!

i guess now it's just mens gymnastics and mens figure skating for me
   68. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:21 PM (#4369042)
i guess now it's just mens gymnastics and mens figure skating for me


If they remove Womens Beach Volleyball I will be unhappy.
   69. base ball chick Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4369044)
mouse

yeh, i bet. asked husband bout that one once. he said - no boobs/no booty/no biggie
   70. Swedish Chef Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4369045)
The proper olympic name for MMA, Just Plain Joe, is "Pankration". Only with more rules than ancient Pankration.

Apparently the the only safeguard for the athlete's health they had in Pankration was that in case of death the dead guy was declared the winner. Oh, and no eye-gouging.
   71. Copronymus Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:25 PM (#4369046)
To make this even worse, the reason that anyone thought they had to cut sports is that they just added golf and a form of rugby that no one cares about, so this whole controversy is something the IOC manufactured by itself in the services of adding entirely new events that will almost certainly be unpopular and/or pointless.

Also, one of my friends looked at some of the documentation the IOC used to justify ditching wrestling and the places where wrestling scored badly were almost all things about the composition of the international governing board and other weird minor technicalities about behind-the-scenes stuff.

It's all a disgrace. FIFA, for its tremendous venality, at least doesn't set itself up as the moral guardian of all true sporting endeavors.
   72. phredbird Posted: February 13, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4369048)
yeh, i bet. asked husband bout that one once. he said - no boobs/no booty/no biggie


i feel safe in saying your husband's views are not representative of most male olympics tv viewers, especially when we're talking about the brazilians, if my memory is accurate ...
   73. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4369085)
Maybe I'm just crazy, but I much prefer indoor volleyball (for the same superficial reasons mind you) to beach.
   74. OsunaSakata Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:36 PM (#4369112)
Greg (U)K: You're not crazy.
   75. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4369121)
I'm not a huge fan of Olympic sports that have commercial appeal and an individual or country world champion on its own. I don't get what the Olympics add to that. The PGA Tour and tournaments tell me who's the best golfer. Or is Olympic Golf only Ryder Cup style team play?

I can get behind Beach Volleyball some, because that's where the highest level of volleyball athletes play, isn't it?
   76. JJ1986 Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4369122)
So, I don't know anything about it, but why is the IOC Western European dominated? Don't all the member nations get an equal say in things?
   77. Ebessan Posted: February 13, 2013 at 06:50 PM (#4369123)
To make this even worse, the reason that anyone thought they had to cut sports is that they just added golf and a form of rugby that no one cares about

I disagree about the addition of sevens. Nearly any country in the world can get together a quality team with the impetus that the Olympics will provide. There's no infrastructure needed, very little development time. You've seen the Carlin Isles videos, right? Who's against that, exactly?

I can get behind Beach Volleyball some, because that's where the highest level of volleyball athletes play, isn't it?

Ha.

I really don't like the beachball. The women's indoor game is exceptional, though.
   78. Swedish Chef Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:00 PM (#4369131)
So, I don't know anything about it, but why is the IOC Western European dominated? Don't all the member nations get an equal say in things?

The IOC is a self-perpetuating body of individuals, not countries and federations, some of the places (45 out of 115) are earmarked for athletes, federation people and national olympic committee heads, 15 of each. But most are just general big-wigs.
   79. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:04 PM (#4369133)
[77] Am I wrong about beach volleyball in that way? I thought that was the only place where the money is in volleyball, and hence, where the players play after college. Or are the college athletes the best athletes? I'd love to know more if someone knows about this.
   80. Swedish Chef Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:10 PM (#4369134)
I thought that was the only place where the money is in volleyball, and hence, where the players play after college.

There are pro leagues in Europe and Brazil.
   81. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4369135)
You can make money in beach volleyball in the US. To make money in indoors you have to go overseas. I think they can make decent money in Europe and Japan.
   82. Yardape Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4369137)
There are pro leagues in Europe and Brazil.


Japan too. Also, since the AVP went belly-up a couple of years ago, I don't know how much money there is in beach volleyball anymore.
   83. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4369139)
the AVP went belly-up a couple of years ago


I didn't know this. I just knew Karch Kiraly made a *$(#load of money in a pro beach volleyball league.

There are pro leagues in Europe and Brazil.


Thanks for the reminder that the monetized sports world doesn't end at the US border. >.<
   84. steagles Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:19 PM (#4369140)
wrestling is one of the few olympic sports i like/watch - hot men in skintight, uh, costumes grabbing each other - very HOTTTTTTT

i guess now it's just mens gymnastics and mens figure skating for me
the luge and bobsled competitions have some interesting eyecandy what with the skintight lycra. so does speed skating, but speed skaters also have some very out of proportion lower bodies.

men's diving has some absolute jaw-droppers.

weightlifting is great if you're into bigger men.

i have a huge soft spot for distance runners, especially when they're dripping with sweat coming off a track.


but losing wrestling would be a devastating blow to the sex-appeal of the summer olympics.
   85. Tripon Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4369143)
To make this even worse, the reason that anyone thought they had to cut sports is that they just added golf and a form of rugby that no one cares about

I disagree about the addition of sevens. Nearly any country in the world can get together a quality team with the impetus that the Olympics will provide. There's no infrastructure needed, very little development time. You've seen the Carlin Isles videos, right? Who's against that, exactly?


The bigger issue is the IOC's self imposed restrictions on only '25' core sports. It is arbitrary, capricious and designed to screw over sports that don't 'play'.
   86. Ebessan Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4369145)
Most of the best beach players converted because their knees couldn't take the continuous impact of the indoor surface. The disparity in pure athletic gift is pretty obvious, too- most of the women indoor players are significantly taller. This is pretty reductive, admittedly, but the accepted wisdom is that Misty May is the best female beach player of the last decade, and she's 5'9. Yekaterina Gamova is probably the best indoor player over the same period, and she's 6'8. This is less obvious in men's volleyball, but... nobody plays men's volleyball.

but losing wrestling would be a devastating blow to the sex-appeal of the summer olympics.

And you people want to remove tennis! Anyone can get something out of watching a few minutes of Federer or Nadal or Tsonga.
   87. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4369149)
Volleyball (the indoor variety I'm mostly talking about) is actually one sport that I think I'd enjoy more if the people playing it weren't quite as good as they are. Bump, set, spike is boring. Give me more frantic diving around saving your team-mates poorly played balls. Maybe a much bigger playing surface and a net 2-3 feet higher.
   88. Tripon Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4369155)
The Olympics are largely becoming an European affair in terms of hosting events, 2012 was in London, 2014 will be in Russia, 2016 is in Rio, but no 'special' accommodation has been made for them in terms of events, and 2020 will likely be in Spain.
   89. Greg K Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:47 PM (#4369160)
More to see how far back I can remember off the top of my head than anything else...

Montreal
Lake Placid
Moscow
Los Angeles
Sarajevo
Soeul
Calgary
Barcelona
Albertville
Lillehammer

Atlanta
Nagano
Athens
Salt Lake City
Sydney
Turin
Beijing
Vancouver
London
Moscow

Rio

I'm not sure if I see a current trend in there that's all that different from past history.

EDIT: speaking of which, my local airport has a sale on for £13 flights to Barcelona from now until April. I hear it's a pretty cool place, anyone been and have some pointers?
   90. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4369161)
Is mobility more of the premium value in beach volleyball, or...?
   91. smileyy Posted: February 13, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4369162)
[87] At least they eliminated side-out scoring. While the grind was an accomplishment of itself, nobody wanted to watch 5 hour matches.

Edit: Is there a narrow line between so many spikes being defendable and every spike being a point? I might totally watch a larger court version of badminton-volleybal, where the ball has a tail that makes it drop slower. More dramatic-looking saves?
   92. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 13, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4369167)
I want to agree with the comments that the indoor volleyball athletes are crazy attractive. Holy cow those legs go on forever.

I also want to put forward the notion that if anyone ever has to die in a terrorist attack in the future, I hope it's the executive board of the IOC who were working out a lucrative graft deal with Sepp Blatter.
   93. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 13, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4369169)
The Winter Olympics are pretty much going to be confined to North America and Europe. You have Nagano as the only one outside of those two regions. I guess, in theory, it could be in Chile or Argentina.

Beach volleyball requires more mobility and a more all-around game. Indoor is a lot more specialized. Top-level women's generally has more rallies. Men's is much more difficult to play defense. Both nets probably need to be raised, although it would be more helpful in women's then men's (it would really be difficult to slow the men's game down).

   94. Tripon Posted: February 13, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4369182)
Winter Olympics wouldn't work in Chile or Argentina unless they play it in June-August. Because you know, Southern Hemisphere and the switching of seasons and all.
   95. rfloh Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4369202)
This isn't about commercialism or TV ratings. Globally wrestling is popular. It is popular in the ex USSR, in central Asia, in Eurasia, in the mid East, in India. And Japan put in money and time into building up women's wrestling, which is why it is the superpower in women's wrestling, which is why all the all time greats in women's wrestling are Japanese,It is were commercialsim or TV ratings that were the issue, modern pentathlon would be the first to go, and would have been dumped long ago. Followed by sailing and equestrianism.

Badminton is there because it is actually pretty damn popular in East Asia, especially China, and Indonesia, 2 countries with obviously very large populations. Furthermore, an Olympic gold is the pinnacle for individual play in badminton; the traditionally most important competitions in badminton, men and women, are the Thomas & Uber cup, which are both team competions. So it makes sense from that standpoint. It isn't a case of the top players not showing up, as in soccer or baseball. There is little chance of badminton getting kicked out, and little justification for kicking it out.

Field hockey used to be very popular India and Pakistan, less so now, due (partially) to misadministration by governning bodies. However, it probably has got enough of a globally diverse support, especially in western Europe, that it won't get kicked out.

Also, weightlifters are probably the most heavily tested group of athletes in any sport. And actually they aren't all that muscular. They cfan't be, given the nature of the weightclasses. Except for the superheavies, any additional non-functional muscle, any additional muscle that doesn't contribute to getting the weight overhead is a liability. For example, big biceps are a liability. Big pecs, also. Go look at for example some of the male Iranian lifters from the 85, 94, 105 kg classes, medalists at the Olympics, world championships. See for examle, Kianoush Rostami, 84 kgs, or Saeid Mohammadpoour Karkaragh, 94 kgs. On a side note, Saeid is one of my favourite lifters: on stage, he has the demeanour of a serious little kid. They look no more muscular than the typical non-endurance athlete. Certainly no more muscular than the typical elite sprinter (which isn't that surprising: nowadays elite sprinters often do some of the same exercises than weightliters do)

Men's soccer, is aside from modern pentathlon, the sport that most needs to be kicked out, given that baseball is already out. Not only do the best players not show up, the existing structure, under 23 with 3 overaged players, is not used in soccer at all,. Outside of the Olympics, and Olympic qualifying, there is no under 23 competition in soccer. That is an age group that isn't used at all. And this is deliberate, by FIFA. FIFA doesn't want the Olympic soccer competition to ever challenge any of its own competitions for popularity.
   96. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:35 PM (#4369206)
speed skaters also have some very out of proportion lower bodies.

Which is great if you go for that, though: when they were younger, my "bear" softball team were almost universally crushed out on Eric Heiden.
   97. phredbird Posted: February 13, 2013 at 09:57 PM (#4369216)
Beach volleyball requires more mobility and a more all-around game. Indoor is a lot more specialized. Top-level women's generally has more rallies. Men's is much more difficult to play defense. Both nets probably need to be raised, although it would be more helpful in women's then men's (it would really be difficult to slow the men's game down).


i like watching women's beach volleyball for the obvious shallow reasons, and i enjoyed some of the women's indoor, and then i happened to catch the men to give them a fair shake of my viewing time and was frankly shocked to see how awesome they were as athletes.

   98. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4369224)
The Winter Olympics are pretty much going to be confined to North America and Europe. You have Nagano as the only one outside of those two regions. I guess, in theory, it could be in Chile or Argentina.


2018 is in Korea.

   99. Ebessan Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4369241)
Meanwhile, in Russia:

Gay rights activists with a vendetta against masculinity are behind plans to cut wrestling from the Olympic program, the coach of a London 2012 gold medal-winner told R-Sport on Tuesday.
   100. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 13, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4369243)
EDIT: speaking of which, my local airport has a sale on for £13 flights to Barcelona from now until April. I hear it's a pretty cool place, anyone been and have some pointers?


I have been many times, my favorite city in Europe; IM me if you want advice at length, though it would help to know what sort of pointers you are looking for.
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