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

Alberni businesses nominated for Island excellence

Coulson Ice Blast, Port Posh Wash, the Blue Marlin Inn and Totem… Continue reading

BCHL: Speedy left winger commits to Bulldogs

Forward Ethan Jang will be suiting up for the 2018-19 season

Rollin Art Centre open now

Make sure to renew your Community Arts Council membership

BCHL: Bulldogs take the ice after trade deadline

Alberni team picked up one loss, one win with new roster

Alberni’s Warren Lee earns second black belt

Lee is one of four Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belts in Canada

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Most Read