BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — The world’s oldest competitive sport could be dropped from the 2020 Olympic Games. It’s being called a “tragedy” for the sport of wrestling which has been around since the first modern Olympics in 1896 as well as the ancient games in Greece.
“I was shocked,” said Baret Sanchez, a junior on the Brusly wrestling team.
Wrestling is not just a sport at Brusly high school. For many of these West Baton Rouge student-athletes it’s a way of life.
“We believe in each other and we are just like a family,” two-time state champion Trevor Schermer said.
The Panther program has been quite successful in recent years. They’ve won eight of the last nine team state championships.
“I love how when we walk in there people know that they are going to have a challenge,” said junior Wyatt Lejeune.
But, just days away from the state tournament, the International Olympic Committee announced its plans to cut the sport from the 2020 Summer Games. The news put a damper on the team.
“I personally was going to try and go to the Olympics and wrestle,” added Schermer who is in his junior year.
Brusly assistant coach Barrett Wilson understands the kids’ disappointment.
“There is no professional sport. There is no money to be made in wrestling. The top thing is to be an Olympic champion and when you take that away it hurts,” he said.
Brusly has won 11 state championships since 1996.
Wilson is hopeful the decision changes. Wrestling now has to vie against seven other sports for one spot at the 2020 games. A vote is expected in September.