Wrestling at the Summer Olympics

Wrestling had been contested at the Summer Olympic Games since the sport was introduced in the ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC.[1] When the modern Olympic Games resumed in Athens in 1896, wrestling (in the form of Greco-Roman wrestling) became a focus of the Games, with the exception of the 1900 Summer Olympics when wrestling did not appear on the program. Freestyle wrestling and weight classes both made their first appearance in 1904. The women's competition was introduced in 2004.

Wrestling at the Summer Olympics
Governing bodyFILA
Events18 (men: 12; women: 6)

In February 2013, the IOC voted to drop wrestling from the Summer Olympic programme, effective 2020. The president of the sport's governing body, FILA (now United World Wrestling), resigned after a subsequent motion of no confidence. Following changes in leadership, and revisions to the programme for 2016 (including rule changes and additional women's competitions), wrestling successfully campaigned to be readmitted to the Summer Olympic programme.

Removal and reinstatement

In an effort to control the size and costs of the Summer Olympics, and make the Games "relevant to sports fans of all generations", the IOC evaluated the Olympic event programme in place for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and voted on 25 "core" sports that would comprise the programme of the 2020 Summer Olympics. One vacancy was to be left open for a new sport. In February 2013, IOC members voted to remove wrestling from the Olympic programme; The New York Times cited several potential factors in the decision, including the lack of universally-known talent unlike other sports, and concern for the lack of women's competitions in wrestling (having only introduced women's freestyle competitions in 2004). FILA (now United World Wrestling), the governing body of Olympic wrestling, immediately criticized the decision. The organization cited wrestling's long-standing history as an Olympic event, which dates as far back as the ancient Olympic Games.[2][3][4]

The decision resulted in immediate backlash; Armen Nazaryan and Sagid Murtazaliev both returned gold medals to the IOC in protest, while Nazaryan also staged a hunger strike until the 2013 European Wrestling Championships.[5] FILA president Raphaël Martinetti resigned after a vote of non-confidence by the organization's staff.[6]

Martinetti was replaced as acting president by Nenad Lalovic. Under his leadership, the organization began to make changes to its Olympic programme for 2016, including rule changes designed to make bouts faster and encourage more aggression, as well as additional women's weight classes. These changes were intended to help improve audience interest, and address the shortcomings that likely led to the removal of the sport; wrestling joined baseball/softball, as well as squash, on a final shortlist of three sports to be included in the core Olympic programme for 2020.[2] On 8 September 2013, at the 125th IOC Session, the IOC selected wrestling to be reinstated in the Olympic program for 2020 and 2024.[7] [8] Lalović was largely credited for his role in the reinstatement; he remarked that "normally this is done in a few years, we did it in a few months. It was a question of our survival."[9][10]



Greco-Roman light flyweight X X X X X X X 7
Greco-Roman flyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 14
Greco-Roman bantamweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
Greco-Roman featherweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
Greco-Roman lightweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 26
Greco-Roman welterweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 21
Greco-Roman middleweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 26
Greco-Roman light heavyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 20
Greco-Roman heavyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 25
Greco-Roman super heavyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 14
Greco-Roman open X 1
Freestyle light flyweight X X X X X X X X 8
Freestyle flyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 15
Freestyle bantamweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 24
Freestyle featherweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 24
Freestyle lightweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 25
Freestyle welterweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 24
Freestyle middleweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 25
Freestyle light heavyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 18
Freestyle heavyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 25
Freestyle super heavyweight X X X X X X X X X X X X X 13
Total 1 0 7 9 5 10 13 13 14 14 16 16 16 16 16 16 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 16 14 14 14 12 12


Freestyle flyweight X X X X X 5
Freestyle bantamweight X X X X X 5
Freestyle welterweight X X 2
Freestyle middleweight X X X X X 5
Freestyle light heavyweight X X 2
Freestyle heavyweight X X X X X 5
Total 4 4 4 6 6

Participating nations

The following nations have taken part in the wrestling competition. The numbers in the table indicate the number of competitors sent to that year's Olympics (X means qualified wrestlers for the next Olympics).

 Afghanistan (AFG) 78588517
 Albania (ALB) 1123
 Algeria (ALG) 322213338
 American Samoa (ASA) 1113
 Argentina (ARG) 58523433332111115
 Armenia (ARM) 8879786
 Australia (AUS) 13134415983333332911141322
 Austria (AUT) 821753474142575231119
 Azerbaijan (AZE) 8971613146
 Bahamas (BAH) 21
 Bahrain (BRN) 11
 Belarus (BLR) 16141091176
 Belgium (BEL) 411217131198353222311118
 Bohemia (BOH) 442
 Bolivia (BOL) 11
 Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) 11
 Brazil (BRA) 2111156
 Bulgaria (BUL) 81616162020202020118131291115
 Cambodia (CAM) 112
 Cameroon (CMR) 65411137
 Canada (CAN) 115565942479151311131447109822
 Central African Republic (CAF) 11
 Chile (CHI) 11
 China (CHN) 7118559168139
 Chinese Taipei (TPE) 1413
 Colombia (COL) 1413113359
 Croatia (CRO) 11214
 Cuba (CUB) 3379101515131212121012
 Cyprus (CYP) 112
 Czech Republic (CZE) 3321116
 Czechoslovakia (TCH) 10962133354610589715
 Denmark (DEN) 11910117355543332122118
 Dominican Republic (DOM) 21114
 East Germany (GDR) 101712985
 Ecuador (ECU) 211225
 Egypt (EGY) 12431312444410531237131019
 El Salvador (ESA) 1113
 Estonia (EST) 4861844312311
 Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) 11
 Finland (FIN) 43718241310131516101410910781112754212325
 France (FRA) 61723135101110293455289923696224
 The Gambia (GAM) 31
 Georgia (GEO) 813121013116
 Germany (GER)1 11465148171110974714
 Great Britain (GBR)1 53121014626166466467677111123
 Greece (GRE)2 152324532358945105111071832125
 Guam (GUM) 1111116
 Guatemala (GUA) 3541116
 Guinea (GUI) 21
 Guinea-Bissau (GBS) 1111226
 Haiti (HAI) 11
 Honduras (HON) 11
 Hungary (HUN)1 710126512121281010131818191817118997824
 Iceland (ISL) 11
 Independent Olympic Participants (IOP) 91
 India (IND) 236475848687611735819
 Indonesia (INA) 21
 Iran (IRI) 881291417151610111312131214
 Iraq (IRQ) 1193516
 Ireland (IRL) 114215
 Israel (ISR) 212413318
 Italy (ITA) 16817561011145165578674542621225
 Ivory Coast (CIV) 11
 Japan (JPN) 11755816161520202020161281310131020
 Jordan (JOR) 21
 Kazakhstan (KAZ) 1111121615126
 Kenya (KEN) 41
 Kyrgyzstan (KGZ) 4685476
 Latvia (LAT) 6231111219
 Lebanon (LBN) 5462211119
 Lithuania (LTU) 13234217
 Luxembourg (LUX) 223123418
 Macedonia (MKD) 32214
 Madagascar (MAD) 11
 Malta (MLT) 222
 Mauritania (MTN) 242
 Mauritius (MRI) 11
 Mexico (MEX) 24514412922542712117
 Moldova (MDA) 6422236
 Mongolia (MGL) 8813131397446681013
 Morocco (MAR) 543455452310
 Namibia (NAM) 112
 Netherlands (NED) 939864311110
 New Zealand (NZL) 112123223110
 Nicaragua (NCA) 11
 Nigeria (NGR) 136542124710
 North Korea (PRK) 233434135410
 Norway (NOR) 19777136714135255211111224
 Pakistan (PAK) 676222231110
 Palau (PLW) 1213
 Panama (PAN) 1322112219
 Peru (PER) 422151118
 Philippines (PHI) 111344328
 Poland (POL) 2435125121814201813119994818
 Portugal (POR) 213433111110
 Puerto Rico (PUR) 532451328
 Republic of China (ROC) 11
 Romania (ROU) 5747101220192010411105582518
 Russia (RUS) 4112016181816178
 Samoa (SAM) 212
 Senegal (SEN) 45344321112212
 Serbia (SRB) 2133
 Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) 11
 Slovakia (SVK) 44324
 South Africa (RSA) 1123543111111
 South Korea (KOR) 413413841114191615109119517
 Soviet Union (URS) 1616161616202020209
 Spain (ESP) 44123910231111
 Sweden (SWE) 9341313913141611012977881110875756725
 Switzerland (SUI) 41211131251233912442421119
 Syria (SYR) 221738327
 Tajikistan (TJK) 14244
 Tunisia (TUN) 2333413849
 Turkey (TUR) 5611161513161516161116131513121213131420
 Turkmenistan (TKM) 112
 Ukraine (UKR) 1716161613116
 Unified Team (EUN) 201
 United States (USA) 426218147778815161616192019202020161717171424
 United Team of Germany (EUA) 515143
 Uzbekistan (UZB) 101178886
 Venezuela (VEN) 3216223799
 Vietnam (VIE) 51124
 Virgin Islands (ISV) 41
 West Germany (FRG) 11171514175
 Yemen (YEM) 312
 Yugoslavia (YUG) 25532548106109213

All-time medal table – 1896–2016

1 Soviet Union (URS)623123116
2 United States (USA)544335132
3 Japan (JPN)32201769
4 Russia (RUS)30111556
5 Turkey (TUR)29181663
6 Sweden (SWE)28273186
7 Finland (FIN)26282983
8 Hungary (HUN)19161954
9 Bulgaria (BUL)16322169
10 South Korea (KOR)11111436
11 Iran (IRI)9142043
12 Cuba (CUB)96722
13 Romania (ROU)781833
14 Italy (ITA)741021
15 Unified Team (EUN)65516
16 Poland (POL)591226
17 Estonia (EST)52411
18 Germany (GER)412925
19 Azerbaijan (AZE)471122
20 Yugoslavia (YUG)46616
21 France (FRA)441018
22 Switzerland (SUI)44614
23 Canada (CAN)37717
24 Ukraine (UKR)35614
25 Georgia (GEO)341118
26 Great Britain (GBR)341017
27 North Korea (PRK)32510
28 Uzbekistan (UZB)3238
29 China (CHN)23510
30 Armenia (ARM)2338
31 East Germany (GDR)2327
 Egypt (EGY)2327
33 Norway (NOR)2226
34 Czechoslovakia (TCH)17715
35 Kazakhstan (KAZ)15915
36 United Team of Germany (EUA)1539
37 West Germany (FRG)1449
38 Greece (GRE)13711
39 Serbia (SRB)1001
40 Belarus (BLR)04711
41 Mongolia (MGL)0459
42 Denmark (DEN)0369
43 Belgium (BEL)0303
44 India (IND)0145
45 Australia (AUS)0123
 Lebanon (LIB)0123
47 Lithuania (LTU)0112
48 Latvia (LAT)0101
 Mexico (MEX)0101
 Syria (SYR)0101
51 Austria (AUT)0022
 Colombia (COL)0022
53 Macedonia (MKD)0011
 Moldova (MDA)0011
 Pakistan (PAK)0011
 Tunisia (TUN)0011
Totals (56 nations)4094014591269

All-time medal table – Greco-Roman – 1896–2012

1 Soviet Union (URS)34161060
2 Finland (FIN)23211963
3 Sweden (SWE)20171956
4 Hungary (HUN)16101036
5 Turkey (TUR)115622
6 Russia (RUS)102618
7 Bulgaria (BUL)914831
8 South Korea (KOR)72615
9 Romania (ROU)681327
10 Poland (POL)58619
11 Italy (ITA)54918
12 Germany (GER)49518
13 Japan (JPN)45312
14 United States (USA)36615
15 Yugoslavia (YUG)35412
16 Cuba (CUB)3429
17 Unified Team (EUN)3339
18 Iran (IRI)3115
19 Estonia (EST)3047
20 Egypt (EGY)2226
21 East Germany (GDR)2114
 Norway (NOR)2114
23 Czechoslovakia (TCH)16411
24 Greece (GRE)1359
25 West Germany (FRG)1315
26 France (FRA)1236
27 Kazakhstan (KAZ)1225
28 Azerbaijan (AZE)1214
29 Ukraine (UKR)1113
30 Uzbekistan (UZB)1012
31 Armenia (ARM)1001
32 United Team of Germany (EUA)0437
33 Denmark (DEN)0268
34 Belarus (BLR)0235
35 China (CHN)0145
36 Georgia (GEO)0123
 Lebanon (LIB)0123
38 Lithuania (LTU)0112
39 Latvia (LAT)0101
 Mexico (MEX)0101
41 Austria (AUT)0011
 Moldova (MDA)0011
 North Korea (PRK)0011
 Switzerland (SUI)0011
Totals (44 nations)187177187551

All-time medal table – Freestyle – 1904–2012

1 United States (USA)493728114
2 Soviet Union (URS)28151356
3 Japan (JPN)24121450
4 Turkey (TUR)1711836
5 Russia (RUS)156728
6 Sweden (SWE)810826
7 Finland (FIN)871025
8 Bulgaria (BUL)7171135
9 Iran (IRI)5121633
10 South Korea (KOR)49720
11 Switzerland (SUI)44513
12 Great Britain (GBR)341017
13 Hungary (HUN)34714
14 Azerbaijan (AZE)3249
15 North Korea (PRK)3238
16 Unified Team (EUN)3227
17 Canada (CAN)26614
18 Ukraine (UKR)23510
19 France (FRA)2259
20 Uzbekistan (UZB)2226
21 China (CHN)2204
22 Cuba (CUB)2147
23 Estonia (EST)2103
24 Germany (GER)1337
25 Yugoslavia (YUG)1124
26 Georgia (GEO)1045
 Romania (ROU)1045
28 Italy (ITA)1001
29 Mongolia (MGL)0459
30 Kazakhstan (KAZ)0336
31 Belgium (BEL)0303
32 East Germany (GDR)0213
33 Poland (POL)0145
34 Czechoslovakia (TCH)0134
 India (IND)0134
 West Germany (FRG)0134
37 Australia (AUS)0123
38 Belarus (BLR)0112
39 Armenia (ARM)0101
 Norway (NOR)0101
 Syria (SYR)0101
 Tajikistan (TJK)0101
43 Greece (GRE)0022
44 Austria (AUT)0011
 Colombia (COL)0011
 Macedonia (MKD)0011
 Pakistan (PAK)0011
 Slovakia (SVK)0011
Totals (48 nations)203197220620

Source: Wrestling Freestyle Olympics Medal Table at olympicmedals.com

See also


  1. "Equipment and History".
  2. Hamilton, Tracee (2013-09-08). "Wrestling, IOC make right moves in getting sport back on 2020 Olympics program". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  3. Longman, Jeré (2013-02-12). "Olympics Moves to Drop Wrestling in 2020". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  4. "Wrestling to be dropped from 2020 Olympic Games". BBC Sport.
  5. "Bulgaria wrestling coach Armen Nazaryan on hunger strike". BBC Sport. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2018-05-26.
  6. "International Wresting President forced to quit after Olympic shock". Inside the Games. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  7. "Wrestling, baseball/softball and squash shortlisted by IOC for 2020 as five fail to make cut".
  8. "Wrestling added to Olympic programme for 2020 and 2024 Games". IOC. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  9. KAROLOS GROHMANN (8 September 2013). "Wrestling wins vote and will be part of 2020 Tokyo Olympics". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  10. "Wrestling gets reinstated for 2020 Olympics". Retrieved 2016-08-15.
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