The New York Times tells us that wrestling is too boring to remain in the Olympics. I am reminded that to desire the attention of the masses is to chase mediocrity.
Television destroys us all. Judo is being torn apart by it; wrestling is being cast aside by it, jiu-jitsu is eagerly chasing its affections.
For years I’ve heard calls for a return to the ‘real’ Olympics. Unfortunately such a project would be such a radical shift that it would have to be a new organization, which would be hammered to the ground if it tried to use the “trademark” of the Olympics. But think of the enormous beauty of an event with substantial prize money in a very few limited, fundamental events: a few kinds of running, a javelin and discus throw, wrestling both Greco-Roman and freestyle, pankration using the Unified MMA rules, boxing, and maybe some weightlifting as a nod to the modern era. Nix the equestrian events. Simple, basic athletics that come down to proving oneself in simple, measurable terms.
Photo by Paul Sancya / AP.