Olympic wrestling’s vicious takedowns won’t be forgotten

With the sport dropped from the 2020 Games, we look back on some of its most punishing moments SLIDE SHOW

Topics: slideshow, Olympics, Wrestling, Summer Olympics, 2020 Games, Sports, ,

Wrestling has been a fixture of the Olympics since 708 B.C. and is considered by many to be the oldest competitive sport. So when the International Olympic Committee voted Tuesday to cut freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling from the 2020 games, it came as something of a shock. “I think this is a really stupid decision,” the Olympic historian David Wallechinsky told the New York Times. “It has been in the modern Olympics since 1896. This is a popular sport.”

Fans worldwide can still enjoy freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. But while there’s a slim chance the IOC could reverse its decision by adding a 26th sport to the 2020 Games, the days of spandex singlets appear to be numbered — at least on the Olympic stage. To give the sport a proper send-off, we look back on some of wrestling’s gnarliest, most brutal moments.

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    (Wikipedia Commons/Miyagawa)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Martin Klein (Russia) wrestles Alfred Asikainen (Finland) in the 1912 Summer Olympics. The match went on for eleven hours and forty minutes.

    (Wikipedia Commons/Vladimir Rodionov, RIA Novosti)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Shamil Serikov (USSR, right) and silver medalist of the 1980 Olympiad Jozef Lipien (Poland) go to the mats.

    (Wikipedia Commons/Vladimir Rodionov, RIA Novosti)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Silver medal winner Slavko Chervenkov of Bulgaria (up) and bronze medal winner Julius Strnisko of Czechoslovakia during a men's Freestyle Wrestling 100 kg match at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

    (Wikipedia Commons/Tim Hipps)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program Spc. Faruk Sahin throws Minnesota Storm's Jake Deitchler during the 66-kilogram Greco-Roman finals of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

    (Wikipedia Commons/Tim Hipps)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program 1st Lt. Leigh Jaynes wrestles Sunkist Kids' Tatiana Padilla in the women's 55-kilogram freestyle semifinals of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

    (Wikipedia Commons/Tim Hipps)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dremiel Byers wrestles China's Deli Liu in the second round of the Olympic Greco-Roman 120-kilogram tournament during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

    (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Sushil Kumar of India competes with Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan (in blue) during their 66-kg freestyle wrestling gold medal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

    (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Men's 120-kg freestyle wrestling competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

    (Flickr Creative Commons/simononly)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Freestyle wrestling in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

    (Flickr Creative Commons/simononly)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Freestyle wrestling in the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday in London.

    (Wikipedia Commons/Simon Q)

    Olympic wrestling's vicious takedowns are gone but not forgotten

    Liván López (in red) vs. Jabrayil Hasanov at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

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