Fun facts about wrestling for those interested in wrestling and for readers of Reversal, a YA novel by Eric Linne.
Literary references to the sport of wrestling occur as early as in the Iliad, in which Homer recounts the Trojan War of the 13th century BC.] The origins of wrestling go back 15,000 years through cave drawings in France. Babylonian and Egyptian reliefs show wrestlers using most of the holds known in the present-day sport.
Modern Olympic Roots and Wrestling Styles
Greco-Roman wrestling became an event at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Since 1908, the event has been in every Summer Olympics. In Greco-Roman style, it is forbidden to hold the opponent below the belt.
Freestyle wrestling became an Olympic event, in 1904. Women’s freestyle wrestling was added to the Summer Olympics in 2004. Freestyle allows the use of the wrestler’s or his opponent’s legs in offense and defense.
Collegiate wrestling (sometimes known as scholastic wrestling or folkstyle wrestling) is the commonly used name of wrestling practiced at the college and university level in the United States
One Great Wrestler
Arguably, the greatest American wrestler of all time, Dan Gable has become a legend in the wrestling community. During his high school and college careers, Gable compiled an unbelievable record of 182-1. He was undefeated in 64 prep matches, and was 118-1 at Iowa State. His only defeat came in the NCAA finals his senior year. Gable was a three-time all-American and three-time Big Eight champion. He set NCAA records in winning and pin streaks.
Lots of Motivation –
Dan Gable is also credited with some of the most memorable quotes about wrestling every uttered. Among them are:
“More enduringly than any other sport, wresting teaches self-control and pride. Some have wrestled without great skill – none have wrestled without great pride.”
“Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”
“The first period is won by the best technician. The second period is won by the kid in the best shape. The 3rd period is won by the kid with the biggest heart.”
Scope of Wrestling Participation
- Scholastic wrestling ranks 6th of all boys’ sports in terms of participation at the high school level with over 272,000 nation-wide.
- Wrestling currently has its high participation rates since 1980
- Since 2002-03, the number of high school wrestlers has grown by over 30,000.
- Over 10,400 schools sponsors wrestling, which is the largest number ever.
Growth of Female Wrestler Participation
- Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school nationwide has grown from 804 to over 8000
- 22 colleges now sponsor a varsity women’s wrestling program
- Women’s wrestling is now a recognized Olympic sport
- Texas, Hawaii and Washington sponsor a state high school girls wrestling championship
- Females account for 2.9% of high school wrestlers nationwide.