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olympic wrestling
2016 Olympic wrestling fast facts

Venue: Olympic Training Center, Rio

: August 14 – August 21, 2016

Competitors: 344

One of the oldest known sports, wrestling dates back to 800 BC when the ancient Greeks staged the original Olympic games.

Around the world, today wrestling takes on many forms with different rules governing the sport by region or country. If your idea of of the sport was formed by WWE wrestling, be especially prepared for a very different spectator experience at Olympic wrestling.

Olympic wrestlers are disciplined athletes, with no props, who compete in several weight classes to see who has mastered the very real skills it takes to win the gold.

Greco-Roman wrestling - which appeared in the first Games in 1896 - is very structured, Use of the legs to make contact, or arms below the waist of opponents, are forbidden.

Freestyle, which was added in 1904, is much closer to what pro wrestlers do -- a no-holds barred exhibit of strength and strategy (without the grudge matches, of course).

Whether Greco-Roman or freestyle, the main goal is to pin the opponent's shoulders back to the mat for at least 2 seconds to be declared the victor.

If neither wrestler manages to pin their opponent by the end of the match, points are scored for the best executed throws or take down moves exhibited during the match to discern the winner.

Olympic wrestling fun facts

Early resistance trainer, Milo of Croton.

• Milo of Croton, one of the greatest Ancient Olympic champions, won the wrestling event 6 times over the span of 34 years. The ancient Greek athlete is also credited one of the earliest proponent of resistance training, and was said to have carried a bull on his back to gain strength.

• The longest wrestling match in Olympic history was fought between Russia's Martin Klein and Finland's Alfred Asikainen at the 1912 Stockholm Games. After a grueling 11 hours and 40 minutes, Klein finally pinned Asikainen to the mat.

• At the 1936 Berlin Games, heavyweight wrestler Kristjan Palusalu became the first and only wrestler in Olympic history to win the heavyweight gold medal in both Greco-Roman and freestyle.

More information about Olympic wrestling around the Web:

Greco-Roman Wrestling
- The home page of the Olympic Movement offers a stirring tribute to this classical form of wrestling and links to the popular free style version. Don't miss the pictures and check the home page for the latest updates.

Team USA Wrestling - "Real wrestling" coverage from the US with headlines from the world of wrestling and a special on the Olympics with articles that add depth to the coverage.

Greco 101 - From you get the picture. There are so many good wrestling photos illustrating the articles on this site that you almost get the feeling that you're watching a wrestling match! Move over to the photo galleries and the pictures take center ring...

United World Wrestling - The international organization for wrestling provides a special section for the Olympics along with coverage on other wrestling events around the world, info on rules, great pictures and much more.


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