Posted by Bubbles
Posted by cowcatcher
I think the sport is pretty entrenched in most schools in the states as it is, and there are so many youth programs/teams out there that I don't see this as making too much of an impact. If hockey was removed from the winter games, there would still be a strong foundation for kids in Canada to play it. Granted that may not be the best example since there are a lot of places to play pro or semi-pro hockey, but I think you get my point. Wrestling is part of the culture in america, especially in the Midwest, and I don't see it going away any time soon, Olympic event or not. If your dad wrestled, and your uncles wrestled, then you wrestle where I come from, and I think it's that way throughout most of middle America.
I see what you are saying, but the Olympics are the grand stage of wrestling. You work for 4 years to try reach that pinnacle. There isn't a professional wrestling league or circuit for freestyle or greco, etc that hockey or curling or track and field has that I am aware of
based on your response, I guess as a kid the Olympics are an afterthought as opposed to being a state champ or D1 All-American or w/e. Mind you this is just an assumption from someone who has no affiliation to amateur wrestling so correct me if I'm wrong
You're right, being state champ was always the big goal in high school. Getting to state was a huge deal after having to go through regionals and sectionals. I'm sure for the guys that went undefeated or won multiple state championships, the Olympics were on their minds, but the pinnacle for the majority of us that wrestled from the time we were kids was to win state. The Jesse Thielkes and Dennis Halls of the WI wrestling world are few and far between though. Like in most sports, very few guys actually make it to the upper echelon, much less really consider it a possibility to get to the very highest level, ie the Olympics.
EDIT: Going to a Big Ten school to wrestle, especially Iowa, was also a thing that a lot of guys shot for beyond winning state.