Article and image courtesy of USA Today
The U.S.-based officials for the sports hoping for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics have all heard the rumblings. Yes, wrestling is favored to be back on the program, but all may not be lost for the combined bid of softball/baseball and squash.
The IOC executive board recommended that wrestling be removed as a core sport in February, but the full IOC membership is expected to either reject that recommendation or accept it and vote to restore wrestling to the Games. Whatever happens, wrestling is the heavy favorite going into Sunday’s election in Buenos Aires. However, it may not be over for the sports left out, according to U.S. officials.
A new IOC president will be elected next week and that person could also be in favor of changing the charter, which calls for a maximum of 28 summer sports. The leading presidential contender, Thomas Bach of Germany, has said that there is no need to stick with only 28 sports as long as the 10,500-athlete limit is upheld.
“There are some interesting scenarios out there,” Don Porter, the American co-president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation told USA Today Sports.
Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling, said in an interview that he’s cautiously optimistic and has also heard the scuttlebutt about the possibility of more than one sport eventually getting in for 2020. Same goes for Kevin Klipstein, the CEO of US Squash.
“It’s all hypothetical,” said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams in an email. “In (Buenos Aires) one sport will be accepted.”