Wrestling should be Removed from the Olympics
I will be taking the pro position in this debate, saying that wrestling should be removed starting in the 2018 Olympics.
Round 2-Arguments (no clash)
Round 5-Conclusion (no new rebuttals or points)
I'll be taking the Con side in this debate. Since Pro has not given any definitions or assigned burden of proof, I'll supply them - Pro is welcome to disagree or propose his own in his first round.
Wrestling - The Olympic sports of Greco-Roman wrestling and Freestyle wrestling.
Removed - Taken out of the Olympic games and replaced with a different sport.
Starting - Beginning at.
The use of '2018 Olympics' is unfortunate, as the 2018 Olympics are the Winter Olympics, which do not and have not featured wrestling - I imagine arguing that a sport should or should not be removed from something it is not a part of would be very difficult. he 2020 Summer Olympics would be the earliest one where wrestling could (and likely will) be removed. With consent of my opponent, I propose this debate be modified to define 'Olympics' as '2020 Summer Olympics'.
I also propose that burden of proof be shared - that is, Pro should prove that wrestling should be removed from the 2020 Summer Olympics, while Con should prove that wrestling should not be removed from the 2020 Olympics.
I accept your definitions. Sorry about the mix up. I meant 2020. As to the burden of the proof, I hold it completely. I will have to uphold the claim that wrestling should not be a part of the 2020 Olympic roster.
1. The primary purpose of the Olympics is to entertain, and wrestling does not do this.
Even looking back at the very first olympics, we can see that the Olympics are made to entertain. According to Pausanias, the Greek geographer and mythologist, the origin of the Olympics is a myth in which the dactyls try to entertain the newborn Zeus. This being said, wrestling does not entertain people as much as the other sport I will propose for you right now. I will be suggesting baseball to replace the sport. A study comparing the popularity of Olympic sports ranked baseball at 18 and wrestling at 27. Baseball already has support from the leagues in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Australia, and could get the national backing of Major League Baseball to have big stars from around the world compete like the World Baseball Classic. Comparing wrestling and baseball by TV viewers, wrestling gets 23 million viewers on average, while baseball can peak at 40 million viewers. So, the train of logic, the olympics serve to entertain, baseball entertains more than wrestling, therefore baseball should be in the Olympics, not wrestling.
2. The Olympics are very expensive to produce, and wrestling does not bring in revenue.
In 2012, the Olympics cost twenty million dollars (Ria Novisti). In 2008, they cost 40 million dollars in 2008. With the increasing cost, we need to shed off an extra sport for the summer olympics so we can maintain a profit or even break even. That being said, wrestling is one of the least popular sports, as I have cited in my last point. Also, since it requires many different events in different weight classes, it is one of the most expensive sports to produce.
3. The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, hereafter referred to as FILA, refuses to have a women’s Greco Roman style category.
Now is the age of gender equality. Men and women were not always seen as equal, but now we must promote equality, not just in ideas but in our sports. Wrestling and boxing are the only two sports that do not have a women’s category. The International Olympic Committee has tried to get them to have a women’s category multiple times, but the providers of the sport refuse to allow gender equality in their sports. Given that boxing has a higher entertainment value and is much more popular, wrestling would make sense to drop from the Olympics.
4. FILA has biased and corrupt referees.
FILA, which I have before mentioned is the provider of the sport for the Olympics, has referees that accept bribery and promote nepotism. In one case, Pelle Svennson, a member of the FILA board, witnessed the coach of a Russian wrestler giving signs to the referee. When he went up to the referee to inform him of how this broke the rules, the referee threatened his life. It was found out that the referee was bribed the US equivalent of 150,000 dollars to favor the Russians. The referee is a member of the FILA executive board. In another instance, a referee who gave a very controversial call was discovered to be first cousin of the president of FILA.
I'm fine with Pro having full burden of proof.
The sport of wrestling has a long and storied history at the Olympics. Wrestling is the among the oldest competitive sports in the world (cave drawings from as early as 3,000 B.C. depict wrestler) and was introduced at the ancient Olympic Games in the year 708 B.C.. When the Olympics were revived in 1896, wrestling became a focus of the event due to its historical significance. While wrestling was omitted from the 1900 games, it has been present ever since. It is one of the 26 'core' Olympic sports. 180 countries vied to play at the 2012 Games, with only 71 making the cut. 29 countries won medals, and around 23 million viewers watched them compete at the 2012 Olympics. Wrestling attracts a diverse group of competitors - Russia is the dominant country (although the US has more medals), but countries like Cuba, Finland, and South Korea have won medals as well.
With such a rich history, why would the Olympics want to remove it? Wrestling does have some issues - FILA, the wrestling federation, has done next to nothing to protect it because they believed they would not see such a classic sport removed. However, deeper issues exist in the I.O.C. The same meeting that resulted in the decision to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympics was the one that voted to keep 'modern pentathlon'. What is modern pentathlon? Well, it was sport created specifically for the Olympics and introduced in 1912. A contrived sport consisting of the seemingly random activities of pistol shooting, horseback riding, cross-country running, fencing, and swimming, it attracts only 12.5 million viewers and only 26 countries (less than the number of medal-winning countries (29) in wrestling) bothered to compete in the event in 2012. A total of 53 countries play the sport. New York Times writer John Irving writes that one of the board members, Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., is the vice president of the International Modern Pentathlon Union, and only two of the board's fifteen members come from countries that "actively promote" wrestling.
Clearly modern pentathlon is not nearly as popular as wrestling, so why keep it over it? Simply put, the conflict of interest of the board is impossible to deny. By removing wrestling as a sport, they are robbing the millions of wrestlers worldwide the opportunity to represent their country on the highest international stage, and keeping an unneeded sport that nobody plays instead.
My opponent's arguments seem to fall into three maint contentions
1. Historical pertinence
2. International Diversity-Wrestling vs. Pentathlon
3. Modern Pentathlon should be dropped
1. Historical pertinence
In the ancient Greek olympics, wrestling matches ended in brutal death, and they would fight naked in olive oil. Tradition is never an important point in any debate. Sometimes we must look past tradition and move on for what is best for everybody. Also, if you disclude the brutal early Greek Olympics, modern pentathlon has been around just as long as wrestling.
2. International Diverstity-Wrestling vs. Pentathlon
While this is true, wrestling only has a few more countries then modern pentathlon. Also, modern pentathlon contains many more sports that wrestling, which is just Greco Roman and freestyling. Modern pentathlon is more fun to watch because it is exciting, fast paced, and diverse in its fields.
3. Modern Pentathlon
I believe I have covered this in my last two rebuttals. Modern pentathlon is much more exctiing and fun to watch, and also, it isnot the case of why modern pentathlon is better than wrestling, but the main flaws of wrestling, which were apparent in myarguments.
As my opponent has very kindly numbered his arguments, I will respond in kind:
1: The Olympic Charter lays out seven fundamental principles:
*Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the
qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism
seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good
example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
*The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development
of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the
preservation of human dignity.
*The Olympic Movement is the concerted, organised, universal and permanent action,
carried out under the supreme authority of the IOC, of all individuals and entities who
are inspired by the values of Olympism. It covers the five continents. It reaches its
peak with the bringing together of the world’s athletes at the great sports festival, the
Olympic Games. Its symbol is five interlaced rings.
*The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of
practising sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which
requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
*Recognising that sport occurs within the framework of society, sports organisations
within the Olympic Movement shall have the rights and obligations of autonomy, which
include freely establishing and controlling the rules of sport, determining the structure
and governance of their organisations, enjoying the right of elections free from any
outside influence and the responsibility for ensuring that principles of good governance
*Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race,
religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic
*Belonging to the Olympic Movement requires compliance with the Olympic Charter
and recognition by the IOC
As you can see, none of these have to do with entertaining people. I do not contest baseball is worthy of a spot at the Olympics - it does deserve one, and I suspect that the combined bid of baseball and softball will be added for the 2020 Olympics, since the two main federations for both sports merging allows them to take up only one spot rather than two. My opponent's logic here actually works against him here. My opponent asserts that:
*The Olympics serve to entertain
*Baseball entertains more than wrestling because it gets more viewers
*Baseball, not wrestling, should be in the Olympics.
Using that argument, I can clearly present the case that wrestling should not be eliminated as:
*The Olympics serve to entertain
*Wrestling entertains more than modern pentathlon because it gets more viewers
*Wrestling, not modern pentathlon, should be in the Olympics.
Simply put, this eliminates Pro's point here. Even taking the idea the Olympics are primarily supposed to entertain people, his own logical construction can be used to support keeping wrestling in the Olympics.
2: I do not contest that wrestling has among the most distinct events of any Olympic sport, but I would like to see conclusive proof that the monetary impact of retaining wrestling is signficant enough to warrant exclusion.
3: Gender equality is a major issue in sport, but some sports just tend to be dominated by one gender or the other. In the United States there are over 270,000 high school wrestlers, out of which only around 8,200 are women. In other words, for every 1 female wrestler there are 32 male wrestlers. While this is an issue, this is more the fault of wrestling being a male-oriented sport than it is of blatant sexism. Regardless, I don't see anyone complaining that there isn't a male division for rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized swimming.
4: Match fixing is an issue in almost every sport. If we were to remove wrestling because of it, sports like soccer and basketball would be targets as well because some people try and fix matches.
For the second round rebuttals:
1: I believe you are referring to pankration, which combined wrestling and boxing into an event where the only real rules were you couldn't bite or gouge the eyes of your opponent. Greek wrestling was very different - the goal was not to actually harm the opponent, but to score points by either forcing the opponent's back to the ground, making him tap-out, or forcing him out of the wrestling ground. If you intentionally hit or kicked the opponent (or tried to do the two things prohibited in Pankration), you would get penalized by being literally whipped by a referee until you stopped. Obviously this isn't the most civilized sport, but it isn't anywhere near what you mention. Wrestling itself has existed longer than modern pentathlon has anyway.
2: No, it doesn't. 180 countries vying for a spot in wrestling versus 53 in modern pentathlon is a large difference in participation.
3 : Using your train of logic from your first argument, wrestling is more popular than modern pentathlon, so shouldn't be included? Clearly more people watch it, so don't more think it is better?
OK. I concede. Your refutations are amazing. I hope you don't mind if I use them for my debate team's debate tomorrow?
Oh no, I don't mind. Thanks for the debate. :)
Yes, please vote Con. :D
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