Is BJJ Next in Line as an Olympic Sport?
Wrestling may be holding onto its last breath as the popular sport grapples on. The blog-o-sphere is being inundated with posts and comments about the recent recommendation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to have wrestling removed from the list of games to be showcased in the 2020 Olympics.
The recommendation is said not to be final, as IOC spokes person stated, “this is not the end of the process, this is purely a recommendation,” told reporters following an executive board IOC meeting.
Several factors contribute to the recommendation. This move to drop wrestling is based on appeal, tickets sold, crowd following, and governance. Wrestling is now in the same boat as other popular sports such as taekwondo, pentathlon, canoeing, and hockey in danger of being removed from the games.
Popularity played a huge role in the sport as the numbers were tallied during the conclusion of the London Olympics last year. Based on the scores, wrestling garnered low hits on the internet, ticket sales weren’t sold out as expected, and it has low international viewership.
Thomas Bach, vice president of the IOC stated, “… the common understanding of this is to modernize, to look into the future of the games.”
Wrestling, to date, is being represented by over 180 countries. Representatives from countries such as Russia and the United States also were left in awe. The following countries have been in dominance of the core sport ever since it’s inception to the modern Olympics.
While everything is still up in the air, and the battle wages on as FILA, the international federation for wrestling vies for reconsideration of the decision.
Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu Fans Clamor for Spot in the Olympics – Well, Not Yet
The discussion has been around for quite sometime as advocates of the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu argue they should be given a spot in the Olympics. Numerous movements, websites, and forums, huge BJJ fans, and some Gracie Barra atheletes have stated their strong opinions to include the Brazilian founded sport for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. After all, that is where BJJ was born.
By plainly observing several opinions about BJJ being added to the Olympics, critics says that BJJ is good on its own; even not being included in the Olympics.
On an interesting note, iheartbjj.com made some profound arguments as to why BJJ will not be seeing the stage Olympic podiums in 2016 (sad face on)
- Regional popularity is not enough
- Admission Time
Banking on universality, one of the deciding factors for the IOC is that a certain “sport” needs to have an equal following from both men and women. Sadly, while the numbers are rising for women that are getting into BJJ, the numbers aren’t enough.
On a side note, adopting an anti-doping policy would do great for the sport. The topic came into light when Ciao Terra, a Gracie Fighter declared to the media that there should be testing for steroids in popular leagues such as the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).
Time will tell if this is good news for those that want to see BJJ in the Olympics. Maybe some day soon you will see GB Athletes around the world representing their countries at the Olympic games.