It seems obvious that the reasons for the IOC’s sudden decision to drop wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games were entirely political. By that I mean that certain well-placed insiders feel that silly shit like horse dancing, ribbon dancing, and pool dancing are somehow more important than one of the Olympics’ — and indeed, the world’s — oldest sports. More specifically, modern pentathalon was thought to be the most likely cast-off, which makes sense considering that all of its five disciplines are already covered by other existing events, and that wrestling scores higher in pretty much all of the IOC’s own evaluation criteria (most importantly popularity). Except a current board member and son of the former president is apparently a big pentathalon fan, so fuck all that noise.
While this is definitely a kind of conspiracy on the part of the highbrow powers-that-be, the Russian coach of two Greco-Roman champs went much further with his own conspiracy theory, all the way into predictably trite homophobic territory. In summary, blame The Gays. From R-Sport by way of Bloody Elbow:
“If they expel wrestling now, that means that gays will soon run the whole world,” coach Vladimir Uruimagov said, calling the decision “a blow to masculine origins.”
He added: “It turns out this committee is headed by representative of these minorities,” clarifying that he meant sexual minorities.
“It is necessary for millions around the world who understand that this is a man’s sport and who understand the need to continue the human race to go out and explain their position to the Olympic Committee,” he said. “We should prove and explain that in any other case there is no future.”
B.E. goes on to discuss how pervasive homophobia still is in Russia, which I guess isn’t too surprising coming from a country whose chief exports are dead-eyed fighters, dead-eyed strippers/hookers, and vodka.
Beyond it’s shameless bigotry, this theory also seems counter-intuitive, since we’re talking about a sport where buff, sweaty, spandex-clothed men roll around and grab each other. I’d expect The Gays to be rather fond of such things, and a quick Google search for “gay wrestling” confirmed my presumptions and then some. I’ve met enough gay dudes to know that most don’t fit the limp-wristed effeminate stereotype, and it’s not safe to assume that even those who do are anti-wrestling. Or to quote a guy who once told me a story about getting beat up outside a gay bar: “Don’t think all queers are pussies… they’ll kick your ass just like anybody else.” Wise words, sir.