Wrestling Scratched From 2020 Olympics
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
February 12, 2013 4:55 PM
The first of the modern Olympic games were played in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Nine different sports were played and since then all 9 have continued to be played.
Today one of those sports will no longer be part of the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee decided to eliminate wrestling starting in 2020.
One South Dakota wrestler still hopes for a chance to compete before his sport disappears from the games.
Matt Meuleners is a two time national D-II champion. He’s in his senior year at Northern State University. While the goal for this year is to win a 3rd championship, much bigger dreams are on the horizon.
“Go and train for the Olympics, somewhere,” said Meuleners, during a December interview for the KDLT Athlete of the Week.
A dream that still has a chance, despite the International Olympic Committee eliminating Muelener's sport from the 2020 games and beyond.
“It's kind of frustrating and sad,” said Meuleners.
Meulener's will be training over the next few years for what may be the last time wrestling is in the Olympics. The 2016 games will be in Rio de Janeiro.
But Before the IOC announcement early Tuesday, Meuleners didn't have any preliminary plans for the 2020 games. Saying, it was way too far down the road to think about now.
But, for a wrestler who's been grappling and pinning since he was a toddler, he feels today is a sad day for his sport.
“Knowing that a lot of people that don't know anything about wrestling don't have any really respect for it,” said Meuleners
For now Meuleners continues to wrestle but for younger wrestlers, a dream of Olympic gold, maybe gone forever.