IOC officials said Tuesday they’ll consider expanding the number of disciplines of current Olympic sports in the lead up to the Rio Games. That’s right, wrestling fans, they’ve potentially dropped your event all together, but are considering 3-on-3 basketball, BMX street, and a lot more swimming.
“All of [the governing bodies] believe that adding something will be fantastic for their sport,” IOC sports director Christophe Dubi told the Associated Press. “We look at it from the other angle: Will that bring, or not, an added value to the Olympic Games?”
FINA, swimming’s governing body, seems to be the most vocal in their push for eight more races and extra entrants in nearly every single aquatic event, including diving and synchronized swimming.
The IOC is also sure to expand the beach volleyball field from 24 teams to 32, as they consider it the “signature sport” of the Rio Games. Beach soccer, which also would have been a great centerpiece on the beaches of Rio, was also initially considered but never officially discussed between FIFA and the IOC.
All that said, gender equality seems to be high on the agenda as well, and was apparently a big part of the reason why wrestling, which had seven men’s Greco-Roman classes in London for men but zero for women, lost favor during February’s IOC vote that recommended the sports removal from the 2020 Olympics schedule.
“Yes, that was always a controversy that they didn’t have women for Greco,” Dubi admitted regarding February’s now infamous vote. “I will be interested to see what they will propose for Rio.”
The wrestling community will host an emergency meeting in Moscow next month to see what, if anything, can help them retain their spot on the 2020 Olympics schedule.
Meanwhile, the IOC executive board is planning to meet August 9 in Moscow to decide which of the sports would be worthwhile to expand after they examine reports from Dubi’s team.