Note to IOC: Don’t take away Olympic wrestling

Wrestling deserves to stay an Olympic sport while others don't, editor Susan Quinn says.

I thought I was still asleep and dreaming when I heard the news Tuesday that the International Olympic Committee has recommended dropping wrestling from the official list of Summer Games.

Especially a few days after Port Alberni hosted around 600 wrestlers for the 30th annual Alberni Wrestling Invitational.

This is the community that rallied around Travis Cross when he aspired to compete in the Olympics; Port Alberni sent the largest fan delegation to the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing just to cheer Cross on.

“It’s mind-blowing,” says Alberni Wrestling tournament director Tom McEvay. “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing, and I mean from people around the world.”

It was a bittersweet morning for him, coming down so abruptly from such a high following the tournament. Some of the high school athletes who excelled on the mats at the AV Multiplex could potentially be in the 2020 Olympics—including Alberni wrestlers like Nolan Badovinac or the Wagner twins.

McEvay might be reluctant to pit sport against sport, but I’m not. The seven other shortlisted sports for inclusion in the Summer Games are baseball/ softball, karate, roller sports (really? I mean, derby is great but does it belong at the Olympics?), sport climbing (where they will no doubt have to build an artificial facility), squash, wakeboarding and wushu (excuse me, did someone sneeze?).

I have a great respect for all sports, but some of them just aren’t suitable for the Olympics. BMX cycling, for instance.

(I would target archery, however, I happen to own a recurve bow and a couple of provincial medals so I’ll admit my bias in favour of this sport.)

Wrestling is represented on the world scene in 180 countries, and crosses both economic and social boundaries. This might be its saving grace, McEvay says. “I’m a cup-half-full kind of guy. They say the grieving process is shock, anger, sadness and resolve. I think probably the wrestling community has gone through all these stages very quickly and is at resolve.”

Wrestlers are fighters, he adds. “And there’s a battle now.”

Let’s hope the IOC pays attention.

* Susan Quinn is the Alberni Valley News editor.

Just Posted

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Uchucklesaht Tribe purchases former Redford School

Property will be a “multi-use building” similar to The Thunderbird

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

North Cowichan is Canada’s hot spot on Wednesday

The Warmland lives up to its name

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Most Read