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fullnelson

NY Times article clarifies a lot

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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/busin ... GSj/n1Q4hA

This is the article that Stan posted on the lengthy attack on FILA topic, I have read this 4 page article twice, and I confess after reading it, I come away with a mixed views of things, the way I previously felt and now how I view a couple points differently.

First of all with all that Squash has put together, I now better understand the need to give women the same number of weights as men's Free. After seeing Squash put up 32 men/32 women as the entry total, their TV ideas, etc, FILA had to do something quick to even get reconsidered. I then did a little research; I honestly did not realize that women compete in weight-lifting (one weight class less than men), and boxing includes women (although they only have 3 wts vs 10 for men) The problem for wrestling is that 6 weights isn't enough for any style. I think we get in as is, and then after we are re-established, we insist going for 10 wts in future years.

FILA had to cower,cower, cower, after the debacle Martinetti created. But this still does not excuse them from the creation of very poor rules, that clearly do not simplify understanding, which the IOC demands for it's viewers of Olympic sports. I could go on and on, but read the article, and you will see there is reason for concern for this weekend's vote. I do honestly believe though if we are back in, wrestling will never be ousted again, simply because of the backlash of the original IOC committee's vote, followed by support from unexpected influences which questioned the audacity of removing one of the oldest and original sports.

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Honestly, I think it's embarrassing how little people understand the importance of gender equality in wrestling. Here's what I wrote in another thread:

 

Part of the problem is that we have two styles of men's wrestling. From an outsider's perspective, which happens to the the IOC's perspective, that is incomprehensible. From the IOC's standpoint, wrestling used to have 14 men's weight classes, and 4 women's weight classes. That means women's weight classes were 22% of the total.

 

How does that stand up to other weight-class-based Olympic sports?

 

* Judo has 7 men's weight classes, and 7 women's weight classes. (50%)

* Taekwondo has 4 men's weight classes, and 4 women's weight classes. (50%)

* Weight lifting has 8 men's weight classes, and 7 women's weight classes. (47%)

* Boxing has 10 men's weight classes, and 3 women's weight classes. (23%)

 

As you can see, until a few days ago, wrestling had the worst gender balance of all weight-class-based Olympic sports.

 

With the recent change, wrestling made it so women's weight classes were 33% of the total. That makes it more equitable than boxing, but it still trails Judo, Taekwondo, and Weight lifting by a significant margin.

 

The IOC offered it's solution to this problem years ago. They said get rid of men's freestyle or Greco. I think it's obvious Greco should have been eliminated.

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Personally, I thought the best (read: most appalling) part of the article was FILA's failure to address any of the IOC's concerns and outright defiance of their request to fill out a questionnaire after the 2012 Games. The IOC has been made out to be the bad guy in all of this, and I don't claim their sainthood, but upon digging deeper, it's FILA that has dropped the ball once again. They didn't even have a ball to begin with and still dropped it. #worstorganizationinsports

 

If you read this and don't immediately think "radical revolution" with regards to FILA, you live in a fantasy world. There may (and I emphasize the word "may") be some people worth saving in the current FILA organization, but it's not worth the risk to figure out who. Sometimes, a cleaning house is in order and this would be one of those times.

 

Everyone in wrestling should read this. Provided the article is right and wrestling is a shoe-in for inclusion, I actually feel bad for Squash, because they've done everything we should have been doing all along.

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+1000 to both tirapell and 49northwrestling. The potential exclusion of wrestling from the Olympic movement was an opportunity for the leadership of key wrestling nations to go back to the drawing board and decide what they wanted the sport to look like moving forward, regardless of whether the sport won inclusion back in the Olympics or not. Instead, we have he same leadership and the same confused rule-making as we've always had under FILA. (Was that takedown worth one point or two?)

 

And let's not forget that we're down to six weight classes, and 25 pound gaps, for the Men in 2016. Who wants to bet we're down to five weight classes for Men and Women, and no Greco, come 2020?

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I read the article this morning and what stuck out to me was how the Squash blogger seemed to sound a little defeated. It was as if he wanted to say "yes, we think we deserve to be in the Olympics but it is absurd to think of the Olympics without Wrestling... They should get the spot."

 

Maybe I read it that way because I have heard that same sentiment from many people who don't care for wrestling. Everyone seems to agree that the Olympics are the venue for the sport.

 

On a side note: Anyone else think the Egypt picture was awesome? It would make a nice set up for a dual.

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great article. very eye opening. i would love to be proven wrong but everything in the article points to FILA being a rent seeking organization, who's first and foremost concern is securing sinecures for their various officials. Actually running the sport of wrestling, let alone promoting and marketing the sport, seems to be completely beside the point to them.

 

FILA took their spot in the Olympics for granted and the IOC, themselves no paragon of virtue, finally had to give them a wake up call. the questionnaire anecdote was abjectly pathetic. if i was the IOC, i would've kicked FILA out too.

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I like the feeling that wrestling should be a lock. But, I noticed the other two sports have created a website dedicated to pushing their 2020 Olympic vision. While wrestling on the other hand settled on the occasional FILA site news feed. Seems like overall we have some of the weakest visual presentation pieces, though our elements of tradition while still making improved are likely much stronger than the other two.

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Did the IOC ever explain their desperate need to cap the number of different sports included in the Olympics? Is it a financial thing? According to the article, the London games netted 520 million dollars to distribute back to the participating sports.

 

FILA definitely dropped the ball, but IMO, the IOC is a partner in this crime.

 

And I know we beat this to death on the other threads, but I just don't buy the argument that by eliminating mens' weight classes (and absolutely ruin the careers and lives of so many elite wrestlers around the world) somehow equates to gender equality.

 

I don't call it gender equality. I call it tyranny. Just ask the female softball players.

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Did the IOC ever explain their desperate need to cap the number of different sports included in the Olympics? Is it a financial thing? According to the article, the London games netted 520 million dollars to distribute back to the participating sports.

 

FILA definitely dropped the ball, but IMO, the IOC is a partner in this crime.

 

And I know we beat this to death on the other threads, but I just don't buy the argument that by eliminating mens' weight classes (and absolutely ruin the careers and lives of so many elite wrestlers around the world) somehow equates to gender equality.

 

I don't call it gender equality. I call it tyranny. Just ask the female softball players.

 

I think the cap has more to do with the number of athletes at 10,500, that's what I read.

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Why the 10,500 athlete limit?

 

So, the great cities that get to host the Olympic Games, along with the IOC, can't figure out a way to include wrestling (all weight classes), baseball/softball, and squash?

 

i believe the idea is that the bigger the games get, the fewer the number of prospective cities that can realistically host the events, especially the cities in developing countries that lack the infrastructure of developed countries, most which have already had a shot at hosting the games.

 

also, if i could indulge in a little negative speculation, the fewer the cities that can bid on the games, the less opportunity for graft and payola. FIFA operates on pretty much the same premise.

 

and its not that adding a few dozen more wrestlers will make or break the games, its that the IOC has set a hard cap, and FILA is decades behind the other sporting associations. despite the seemingly arbitrary demands and priorities, the fact is wrestling lost this battle in the 80's and 90's when the olympics professionalized and started cranking out money. Swimming, track and gymnastics aren't any more popular than wrestling is, but they figured out how to make themselves invaluable to the olympics and wrestling figured out how to make itself an afterthought. now FILA is reaping what it couldn't even be bothered to sow.

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and its not that adding a few dozen more wrestlers will make or break the games, its that the IOC has set a hard cap, and FILA is decades behind the other sporting associations. despite the seemingly arbitrary demands and priorities, the fact is wrestling lost this battle in the 80's and 90's when the olympics professionalized and started cranking out money. Swimming, track and gymnastics aren't any more popular than wrestling is, but they figured out how to make themselves invaluable to the olympics and wrestling figured out how to make itself an afterthought. now FILA is reaping what it couldn't even be bothered to sow.

I agree.

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and its not that adding a few dozen more wrestlers will make or break the games, its that the IOC has set a hard cap, and FILA is decades behind the other sporting associations. despite the seemingly arbitrary demands and priorities, the fact is wrestling lost this battle in the 80's and 90's when the olympics professionalized and started cranking out money. Swimming, track and gymnastics aren't any more popular than wrestling is, but they figured out how to make themselves invaluable to the olympics and wrestling figured out how to make itself an afterthought. now FILA is reaping what it couldn't even be bothered to sow.

 

+1

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FILAs laziness/incompetence when it comes to technology in the past borders onn self-parody. I almost lost my mind when I found out one of the reasons the IOC was pissed at FILA was that they didnt' have a facebook page or a twitter feed. Are you kidding me? Several individuals, including 49northwrestling (who does this as a volunteer) have come up with effective ways to show wrestling content on line; no reason FILA can't do the same.

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Why the 10,500 athlete limit?

 

So, the great cities that get to host the Olympic Games, along with the IOC, can't figure out a way to include wrestling (all weight classes), baseball/softball, and squash?

 

i believe the idea is that the bigger the games get, the fewer the number of prospective cities that can realistically host the events, especially the cities in developing countries that lack the infrastructure of developed countries, most which have already had a shot at hosting the games.

 

also, if i could indulge in a little negative speculation, the fewer the cities that can bid on the games, the less opportunity for graft and payola. FIFA operates on pretty much the same premise.

 

and its not that adding a few dozen more wrestlers will make or break the games, its that the IOC has set a hard cap, and FILA is decades behind the other sporting associations. despite the seemingly arbitrary demands and priorities, the fact is wrestling lost this battle in the 80's and 90's when the olympics professionalized and started cranking out money. Swimming, track and gymnastics aren't any more popular than wrestling is, but they figured out how to make themselves invaluable to the olympics and wrestling figured out how to make itself an afterthought. now FILA is reaping what it couldn't even be bothered to sow.

 

Jaroslav, good response to my questions. Your post is well thought out and makes a lot of sense to me.

 

Ok, we'll see what happens this weekend.

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Why the 10,500 athlete limit?

 

So, the great cities that get to host the Olympic Games, along with the IOC, can't figure out a way to include wrestling (all weight classes), baseball/softball, and squash?

 

i believe the idea is that the bigger the games get, the fewer the number of prospective cities that can realistically host the events, especially the cities in developing countries that lack the infrastructure of developed countries, most which have already had a shot at hosting the games.

 

also, if i could indulge in a little negative speculation, the fewer the cities that can bid on the games, the less opportunity for graft and payola. FIFA operates on pretty much the same premise.

 

and its not that adding a few dozen more wrestlers will make or break the games, its that the IOC has set a hard cap, and FILA is decades behind the other sporting associations. despite the seemingly arbitrary demands and priorities, the fact is wrestling lost this battle in the 80's and 90's when the olympics professionalized and started cranking out money. Swimming, track and gymnastics aren't any more popular than wrestling is, but they figured out how to make themselves invaluable to the olympics and wrestling figured out how to make itself an afterthought. now FILA is reaping what it couldn't even be bothered to sow.

 

Jaroslav, good response to my questions. Your post is well thought out and makes a lot of sense to me.

 

Ok, we'll see what happens this weekend.

 

In the same train of thought...

 

The IOC has been in a battle with the USOC. The US wants a larger split of revenue and the IOC wants the US bidding a city each cycle.

 

I do recall there was a 45,000 hotel room minimum for host cities bidding. That rules out a lot of cities. I thought I had heard that Atlanta wouldn't be able to meet the current standards even though they had a successful '96 games.

 

Some cities with interest in bidding around the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2024_Summer_Olympics

 

Edit: Found this old article. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... us-cities/

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The cavalier attitude of FILA towards the IOC was discussed in threads many months ago, when wrestling was first dropped. The NY Times article does a pretty nice job of succinctly summing it up. The most outrageous part is that the IOC gave a specific list of criteria that all core sports needed to address. FILA decided not to address them. What's sickening is that (as mentioned above by several others) many of the things on that list were incredibly easy to do. Make a facebook page, a twitter feed, a modern website (this is 2013 afterall, why should the website suck?). All of these things are easy, and FILA did nothing but thumb their noses at the IOC. The IOC had no choice but to cut wrestling. They gave FILA an assignment and they didn't do it. Incompetence of this magnitude requires an overhaul of the entire organization. It's not good enough to just get rid of the president. Anyone who was in a leadership position during this train wreck should be canned.

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