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A Modern Olympic sport since Athens 1896, wrestling was also a part of the Ancient Olympic Games.

Before Christ was born, man could be found wrestling with other humans and animals as a means of attack, defence, show of strength and even for survival of life.

Wrestling - Olympic Competition

Greco-Roman Wrestling

In the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece, wrestling was an integral part of the Pentathlon; a form of all around athletic championship featuring running, jumping, wrestling, discus and javelin throwing.

It was fitting that Greco-Roman wrestling, bound as it is with the Ancient Olympic Games and the history of mankind, be one of the first sports to be incorporated in the Modern Olympic revival.

In Greco-Roman wrestling, competitors can only use their arms and upper bodies to attack.

Currently only open to men, there are seven Olympic weight divisions in Greco-Roman wrestling: 96-120kg; 84-96kg; 74-84kg; 66-74kg; 60-66kg; 55-60kg; and -55kg.

Freestyle Wrestling

As wrestling was rapidly re-inventing itself across the United States and Great Britain, freestyle wrestling was added to the St. Louis 1904 Olympic Games.

Instead of just using the upper body, as in Greco-Roman wrestling, wrestlers in the freestyle event can also use their legs for pushing, lifting and tripping.

Holding opponents above or below the waist is also allowed.

Women's freestyle wrestling (only four weight divisions) made it's first appearance at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Weight Divisions in Olympic Freestyle Wrestling

Men Women

Wrestling - Olympic Greats

Aleksandr Karelin won three consecutive gold medals in the Greco-Roman wrestling, super heavyweight division; representing Soviet Union at Seoul 1988, the former Soviet Union at Barcelona 1992 and Russia at Atlanta 1996.

Karelin also won a silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games; losing narrowly in the final to Rulon Gardner of the United States.

South Korean Greco-Roman wrestler, Kwon-Ho Sim, is the only Korean man to win two gold medals in the Summer Olympics.

The 1995 world champion in wrestling's light-flyweight (-48kg) division, Sim won gold at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. At Sydney 2000, he stepped up to the 48-54kg and collected his second Olympic gold medal; defeating Kang Yong-Gyun, of North Korea, in the semi-finals.

The two Koreas had entered the stadium together at the opening ceremony and the two athletes helped each other win medals by giving a scouting report on the other's opponent in their respective gold and bronze medal matches.

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Wrestling Links

On the eve of the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912, national federations understood the pressing necessity to create an unanimously recognised organisation and to draw up common rules and principles. Consequently, the FILA was founded in 1912 and its headquarters were established consecutively in : Sweden from 1912 to 1946; France from 1946 to 1965; Switzerland, in Lausanne, Olympic capital and IOC headquarters, since 1965, where it is still established. The FILA was also the first International Federation to move to Lausanne.

National Wrestling Federations

British Wrestling:
There have been many forms of wrestling practised throughout the British Isles since ancient times. Chief of these was the Lancashire, or Catch-as-catch-can style, known as Freestyle.

USA Wrestling:
The represents UAS Wrestling. Contains international college, high school, and youth wrestling results, schedules and links, wrestling education tools, as well as wrestling products and merchandise.

Wrestling Canada:
The Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association (Wrestling Canada Lutte) is the national sport governing body for Olympic style wrestling in Canada.

More About Wrestling

History of Wrestling:
At a time when every single day of life was an exploit in itself, wrestling was used in attacks and defence, in hunting, in determining seniority and leadership within given social groups and has always represented an essential part of the cultural and religious life of the individual and the society in general.

Wrestling Database:
Find wrestlers and results from 1896 to the present day.

Wrestling Hall of Fame:
America's shrine to the sport of wrestling, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum (located on the campus of Oklahoma State University), is a focal point for the past, the present and the future. It preserves the heritage of the sport, celebrates new achievements, and encourages the youth of America to aspire to lofty goals.

Further Reading



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