BC reps give opinion on Olympic Committee’s possible ban of sport

Jason Reed, Sports Editor

Recently the International Olympic Committee has announced that it will drop the sport of wrestling from the Summer Games in 2020, but will let it go on in the 2016 Olympics.

“Their restructuring of things, I have to say, is more politically motivated and fanatically financially motivated,” Bakersfield College wrestling coach Bill Kalivas said when asked what he thought about the IOC’s decision to cut wrestling from the Summer Games.

With four rounds of voting, the IOC removed wrestling from the list on the 2020 Summer Games program.  The same IOC group will vote again in May to decide which eight sports, including wrestling, to recommend for the 2020 Olympics, which is required to have 28 sports.  Every IOC member will then decide this September, which sports will be approved.

“I doubt very series that they’re going to eliminate wrestling, they’ve discussed it.  Sports have become big business and unfortunately that’s just how things are.  I’d like to think that they’re not going to eliminate it,” Kalivas said.  Kalivas believes that there are still things that can be done to make the sport more exciting to the fans.  He said high caliber Olympic style of wrestling against really skilled opponents is not real exciting.

“The way the rules have been manipulated, now it’s about position and the minimization of scoring,” he said.  “I have to believe that they’re going to try and make it more exciting.”

“They talk about eliminating wrestling, but what I don’t understand is, how is BMX a traditional sport.  You’re going to put golf in the Olympics but you have the World Golf Championship, the Masters, the British Open and you got the U.S. Open.  You got all of these huge tournaments. It makes no Sense to me,” he said.

Kalivas also talked about the effect it will have on up and coming wrestlers, who dreams of making it to the Olympics.  “The dedication and sacrifice you have to make to become an Olympic athletic is tremendous,” he said.  “Wanting and doing are two different things.” Kalivas said in order for this to have a major effect on young wrestlers is, if their willing to sacrifice what Bakersfield High School graduate Jake Varner sacrificed.

“Are their young men willing to sacrifice what he sacrificed since he was six years old?  “Is there anyone out there that is willing to sacrifice 20 years and then the chances are what if you don’t ever achieve that?  Where are you going to be, what are you going to do?”

“How long will you last if you don’t have the work ethic,” he added.

In the 2012 Summer Olympics, wrestling had athletics from 71 different countries.