EDITOR: Wrestling, one of the earliest and most elemental Olympic sports, was dropped from the summer Games recently in a stunning and widely criticized decision by the International Olympic Committee.
Wrestling requires more individual commitment than most other sports due to the nature of the training and competition. Wrestlers, due to the weight-class requirements, have to maintain their focus and drive around the clock for years at a time. Additionally, wrestling is an individual sport, and the athlete experiences both failure and success as an individual. As a result, the wrestler endures more physical, emotional and psychological stress, both positive and negative, than an athlete in another sport.
As a high school wrestler, I have experienced this mish-mash of emotions. No other sport can teach self-discipline and hunger to achieve excellence.
To say this is a shame is an understatement. The Olympics are supposed to be a display of sports from around the world. No sport is more historically global than wrestling. The original sports are the very essence of the Olympics. What we learn on the mat translates into our daily lives, forever changing an elite athlete into a role model citizen.