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Tuesday, Feb 12 2013 11:00 PM

Don't cut Olympic wrestling

By The Bakersfield Californian

Zeus can't be happy about this. Wrestling, a cornerstone event of the Olympic Games dating back two millennia, has been dropped by the International Olympic Committee. Synchronized swimming is apparently safe. So, too, is modern pentathlon, that odd combination of shooting, horseback riding and running. Pingpong is golden. But wrestling, that test of physical superiority staged since the days of Greek city-states, is on the outs.

Bakersfield ought to be howling about this, given the long-running competitiveness (and occasional dominance) of local high schools in state competition. That, and the fact that Bakersfield is the hometown of defending freestyle heavyweight gold medalist Jake Varner.

If the Summer Games are getting too big, as seems to be the issue, the IOC should be limiting newcomers, not axing events that represent the modern games' link to their glorious past. We say: Rethink this one, IOC.

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