Holy Innocents assistant wrestling coach Stacey Davis is confident the sport will be on the menu for the 2020 Summer Olympics, despite this week’s controversial International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to remove it.
“My advice to athletes and fans is, be patient,” Davis said. “Wrestling is a time-tested sport and I’m confident it will be back on the list of sports for the 2020 Olympics.”
Davis was one of only two American wrestling officials to officiate at the 2012 London Olympics, last September, as well as the World Team Trials in Oklahoma City, OK, last summer. He has been a USA Wrestling referee since 1997.
Davis’ first reaction to the news that the IOC had removed wrestling as an Olympic sport was, “ ‘Here we go again. What is the IOC thinking?’ This is not the first time I’ve heard rumblings that wrestling was going to be removed, but it’s the first time that such a preliminary action has been taken.
“I really don’t have a clue what the IOC is thinking. The fact that this way it was handled in secret leads me to believe the IOC isn’t sure it was the right decision.”
The committee agreed to pare down the 26 sports it features to 25 so that a new sport could join the lineup in 2020. Wrestling has a chance to make it back into the Olympics, but the Los Angeles Times said that was unlikely now that it has been cut.
Wrestling in the Olympics started with the ancient Games in 708 B.C., and became a staple of the modern Olympics, beginning in Athens, Greece in 1896.
“The IOC may be looking at this from a business standpoint, but I remember how full the venues were in London, the electricity in the stands, and how the broad-based support for the sport,” Davis said. “The mere fact the IOC published this information ahead of time, tells me there’s room for them to go back and reconsider this.”
A report by the IOC program commission said TV ratings and ticket sales are among the criteria used by the panel, according to ESPN.