GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Wrestling isn’t just a sport for these athletes.
“I was like come on man, ping pong is in the Olympics,” Ethan Eck, wrestler said. “If there is any sport that deserves to be in the Olympics besides women’s beach volleyball, it should be wrestling.”
Wrestling in the Olympics is a goal for many athletes, Ethan Eck and Dylan Wilkins have both been wrestling since they could walk, and can’t believe it’s been dropped from the Olympic games.
“It made me want to cry,” Wilkins said. “Wrestling is the only thing I look forward to in life. I’m not good at any other sport.”
Early Tuesday morning, the International Olympic Committee made the decision to drop wrestling from the 2020 games. Tom Bennett is a coach at Michigan Xtreme, a gym that specializes in wrestling.
“Get additional training to help them get to another level,” Tom Bennett, wrestling coach said. “Maybe become high school state champions, wrestle in college, maybe wrestle in the Olympics.”
Bennett says he wasn’t shocked by the board’s decision to drop the sport. He thinks there needs to be some changes to make the sport more entertaining for the viewer.
“I think possible out of this we may get some change, which would be creating some more exciting changes that would make it more entertaining as MMA has done, Bennett said. “Making it more of a professional level sport.”
These die hard athletes aren’t going to let the IOC’s decision slow them down.
“It won’t change me, because I love the sport no matter what,” Wilkins said. “If they said we couldn’t wrestle in high school anymore, I would still practice anyway because I love to do it.”