In news that is about as surprising as the fact that Apple will announce a new iPhone later today, wrestling has been voted back into the Olympics:
The International Olympic Committee, recognizing the gravity of its error, reinstated wrestling to the 2020 Summer Games program.
At the same time, the IOC rejected bids to put squash and a combined effort from baseball/softball onto the show at the Tokyo 2020 Games, underscoring the fix it has put itself in as it seeks to keep the program relevant.
“This was a mistake,” the influential Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah said before the vote to reinstate wrestling, referring to the move last February by the IOC’s policy-making executive board to take it off the 2020 program.
The IOC fixed the mistake in a one-and-done vote.
The writing was on the wall for people hoping to get climbing in the Olympics as soon as wrestling was cut back in February. With only one slot available and wrestling only really in a penalty box of sorts, climbing or any of the other short-listed sports seemingly never had a chance. Whether climbing would have had a chance had the wrestling situation not materialized is less clear, although it still seemed like a long shot.
This is all more good news for those who are adamantly opposed to climbing becoming an Olympic sport, and I would think it would give pause to supporters of the effort when the next IOC dog and pony show gets started for 2024.