Beach Wrestling

Opinion: Beach Wrestling Could Provide Olympic Shakeup

I’ve been thinking about Olympic wrestling lately. The sport is for the man’s man (or woman’s woman), and features two athletes going head to head (wo)mano-e-(wo)mano. With the Olympics being the pinnacle of all sports, I’ve been thinking about how we could possibly double dip on Olympic wrestling and I think I’ve got the greatest idea ever. There should be wrestling at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. 

Women’s beach wrestling is on the docket for the 2028 Olympic Games which will be in Los Angeles, California. Should the sport be added, I would assume it’s a karate situation where it’s only for those region specific Games. But what if beach wrestling stayed in the official programme of the Olympics and added men’s beach wrestling as well? You could concieveably move over men’s and women’s freestyle to the Winter Olympic Games and keep Greco-Roman and beach wrestling in the Summer Games. Every two years, each cycle, you have wrestling.

Beach Wrestling and The Olympic Shift

So the restructuring of the Olympic schedule is all based on the events wrestling has as of now. Beach wrestling is absolutely perfect for the Summer Olympic Games. It’s on a beach, afterall. The move of men’s and women’s freestyle is based on coupling them together. I don’t see any situation where the two are separated. With Greco-Roman only being a men’s event, it’s the only option to keep the scales balanced. Two wrestling styles in the Summer Games; two styles in the Winter Games.

This will possibly cause wrestling to seem a little light in the Olympics. With that being the case, I think adding the non-Olympic weights could fill that void. In freestyle, 55, 61, 70, 79, and 92 kilograms are not present in the Olympics. They are World Championship weights, however. Greco-Roman has a similar issue with the cutting down of weights as does women’s freestyle. This was done to cut down on the amount of wrestling and utilities needed. But cutting down the styles from 3 to 2 in each event would provide a pathway to these excluded weights to finally become part of the Games.

You would have more medalists to market and you wouldn’t have J’Den Cox and Kyle Snyder competing for the same spot on Team USA.

Freestyle wrestling is the style that brings in the most eyeballs and moving it to the Winter Olympic Games would boost viewership. While the Summer Games would take a hit from it, it’s popularity would see it as less of a loss and more of a gain for the Winter Games. In addition to that, you would add beach wrestling which would make up for some of that loss. 

With the rise in popularity in women’s wrestling, women’s beach wrestling is getting the push. While that may be a good litmus test for the 2028 Games, leaving the men out would be a mistake. The more eyes the better. But having wrestling’s biggest stars compete in two Olympic Games would only increase viewership across both sports. Imagine Sarah Hildebrandt and Jordan Burroughs going to the Summer Olympic Games looking to get a second medal in this Olympic cycle in freestyle! The storylines write themselves!

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