The Best of GRReporter
flag_bg flag_gr flag_gb

Greece is protesting against the elimination of wrestling from the Olympic sports

13 February 2013 / 21:02:47  GRReporter
7102 reads

The news that the International Olympic Committee is planning to eliminate wrestling from the list of Olympic sports and to replace it with another sport has provoked confusion and mixed emotions in Greece. Wrestling is the second consecutive discipline in the history of the Games after the pankration, which was also a kind of wrestling.

According to an announcement of the International Olympic Committee, the issue is to be discussed at a meeting in September. Although the announcement does not specify whether free-style wrestling or Graeco-Roman style or both will be eliminated, Greek sports veterans have declared themselves strongly against this possibility.

The president of the Wrestling Federation Costas Thanos states, "Wrestling is related to the Olympic Games and a similar symbol cannot be abandoned. They will eventually cancel the name of the Olympic Games if they carry on in the way they are acting".

Wrestler Petros Galaktopoulous who has competed several times on the Olympic mats even accuses the International Olympic Committee stating that it "wants to make the Olympic Games a huge mall. The brains of these people are driven only by money".

The main opposition party SYRIZA was the first and only political force to respond. The leftists accuse the organizers of the biggest sporting event of commercializing sports. An announcement of the Sports Department of the radical left party reads, "The International Olympic Committee is still focused on commercialization, television popularity and unscrupulous profits from the remnants of sports ideals and it is once again trying to eliminate the oldest Olympic sport. There cannot be Olympic Games without wrestling".

The radical left does not stop here. It urges the Hellenic Olympic Committee to exercise its right of veto and even "to deprive the retailers of sports shows of the right to use the Olympic symbols and historical heritage during the Games", if the "general assembly of the International Olympic Committee confirms the decision of the executive committee to eliminate wrestling". SYRIZA has even provoked the Hellenic Olympic Committee by saying, "The question is whether the Committee, which has been directly linked to the corrupt system of the International Olympic Committee for decades, has the courage to act and the willingness to protect the sport against the offensive of multinational companies that profit at its expense".

The Hellenic Olympic Committee, in turn, states that the decision "is in complete conflict with the history of the Olympic Games and sports in general. It must be changed after thorough examination, analysis and presentation of all the data". At the same time, its leadership has expressed its "support and commitment to the Greek federation of wrestling fans at the very outset of the fight to keep it in the lists of the Olympic Games in 2020 as well as in all future Olympic Games". However, the announcement states nowhere that the Committee will take any initiative in order to change the decision of the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee.

The Greek federations of judo and weightlifting have declared themselves in favour of keeping wrestling in the lists of Olympic sports as well.

Tags: SportsWrestlingOlympic sportInternational Olympic Committee
GRReporter’s content is brought to you for free 7 days a week by a team of highly professional journalists, translators, photographers, operators, software developers, designers. If you like and follow our work, consider whether you could support us financially with an amount at your choice.
You can support us only once as well.
blog comments powered by Disqus