Last year, the International Olympic Committee dropped wrestling from the Summer Olympics. Many argued over the comitee’s ruling, some even claimed that the decision proved gay people will soon take over the world. But no argument better illustrates the need for wrestling at the Olympics than this video:
From time to time you have to give into to the spirit of the dance. For Azerbaijani wrestler Rasul Chunayev, that time was after his gold medal-winning takedown at the Summer Universiade athletic competition in Russia.
The IOC sees wrestling as a sport stuck in the past. But for Azerbaijan it’s still their national sport and favorite past-time. If not for wrestling, would anyone know Azerbaijan exists? Would Azerbaijan even be a country? Would this dance exists? Would someone dare to create a YouTube account called “AzWrestling1993” and upload 30-minute long Azerbaijani wrestling compilation videos? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “no.”
Every four years, small countries dominate in one Olympic sport because they care about that sport a thousand times more than any other country. It makes a small nation feel like a global superpower for that one day and the IOC shouldn’t take that away from Azerbaijan.