The History of Wrestling

The Oldest Sport still Practiced Today

A Sport that has Lasted Generations

Modern wrestling is a grappling sport involving a match against an opponent and the attempt to take them down and ultimately pin them to the ground. Wrestling has been around for 15,000 years and has been referenced in cave drawings and in the Iliad. Amatuer wrestling has had several styles in many countries such as Schuai jiao in China, or Oil wrestling in Turkey. Modern wrestling originated from "catch-as-catch-can" wrestling in America and Britain that gained popularity in festivals and fairs before being included in the first Olympic Games.

Key Dates on the Modernization of Wrestling

  • 1888- First organized national wrestling tournament held in New York city.
  • 1904- Wrestling included in the first Olympic Games in Saint Louis.
  • 1921- International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) creates set rules for international competition.
  • 2004- Womens wrestling included in 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Important Wrestlers in History

Impact on Society

  • References made in mythology and poems such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and several stories in Greek mythology stories. These stories continues to impact today's society.
  • Today, there are approximately 258,000 high school wrestlers and will continue to increase in participation as the sport grows.
  • Ranked on the top 5 NCAA Championships in relations to revenue. Wrestling is a profitable sport economically for NCAA and its employees.
  • Adoption of wrestling techniques in military combat techniques that have been used to protect soldiers for years.
  • Olympic medal serve as great sources of income and even job in some countries for athletes to work toward.