The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted in a secret ballot to put wrestling on the chopping block in the 2020 Olympics.
Hazelton’s Carol Huynh is not pleased with the prospect of the sport she has won two Olympic medals being cut.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to me,” Huynh said.
“When I first heard I thought it was cut for sure, but now that it may have a chance is a bit of a relief.”
Huynh wonders why the national and international wrestling organizations were silent before the announcement from the IOC.
“I’m sure they both knew before any of us did,” she said.
“I’m not sure what they were doing.”
She is concerned about the potential for wrestling to return based on softball and baseball being voted out after the 2008 Olympics.
Neither have made it back on the Olympic schedule, but they are both competing with wrestling for inclusion in the 2020 Games.
Two sports that are in direct competition with wrestling, due to sharing venue space, are Karate and Wushu martial arts.
Smithers wrestling coach Don Roy is less diplomatic than Huynh in his assessment of the decision to force wrestling to battle for a spot.
“I think the IOC prostituted itself to the commercial interests of the [TV] networks,” Roy said.
There will be a total of 28 sports on the 2020 Olympic schedule.
Wrestling has been an Olympic competitive sport since 700 B.C. and part of the modern Games since 1896.
“This is the quintessential Olympic sport,” Huynh said.
“I can understand the IOC wanting to give other sports a chance.
“But when I look at the core sports they ensured would be in the Games it gets hard to wrap my head around.”
Having represented her country on the largest stage possible in the sport, Huynh knows wrestling sets itself apart in many ways.
“It’s just such an emotional event,” she said.
“You have to control your opponent and outperform them without hurting them.
“It’s quite unique.”
She’s shocked, but the news is not enough to bring her out of retirement.
“I’m concerned for the next wave of wrestlers in Canada,” she said.