Wrestling is up off the mat and back in the 2020 Olympic Games, and former Secretary of Defense and amateur wrestler Donald Rumsfeld is in the cheering section.
Rumsfeld took to Twitter Sunday evening to praise the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for overturning a February decision to drop wrestling as part of the IOC’s reorganization of the Olympic program.
The ancient competition surpassed bids from baseball-softball and squash to secure an extra spot next to the Games’ 25 core sports.
Rumsfeld, an amateur wrestler from 1946 – 1957, previously had decried the IOC’s decision to eliminate wrestling from its program and asked the committee in a letter to reconsider it, citing the competition’s international tradition and accessibility.
“Wrestling is a universal sport that anyone can participate in regardless of geography, weather, race, gender, or economic background,” Rumsfeld wrote in February. “All that is needed is a flat surface, two competitors and a referee.”
Wrestling dates back to the ancient Olympics in Greece and has been excluded from the modern Games only once, in 1900.