Wrestling fans will have little reason to watch the Summer Olympics next decade.
Bowing to shifting global tastes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which governs the games, will likely drop the sport, starting with the 2020 summer games. IOC officials said that ditching wrestling was part of an effort to refresh the lineup of 25 core sports featured in the summer games, USA TODAY noted.
Removing wrestling, which dates back to the original Olympic games held in ancient Greece may seem odd, but the IOC has been altering the sports included in the games for some time. In 2005, baseball and softball were ditched by the IOC. Rugby and golf will become part of the games starting in 2016.
While wrestling might yet win a reprieve, it is being challenged by other sports including karate, squash, wake-boarding, wushu and sports climbing. In September, the IOC will make a final decision on which sports should be included in the summer games.
Wrestling has provided U.S. Olympic teams an opportunity to shine. The U.S. has won 124 medals in the sport, including two gold medals in last year’s London Olympics.