Wrestling Facts - Did You Know?

  • Wrestling is considered the oldest sport on earth.  Cave drawings dating back to 3,000 B.C. depict the sport.
  • Wrestling is the No. 6 sport for high school male participants.
  • Wrestling is one of the original sports in the ancient Olympic Games in Greece, dating back to 776 B.C. The Ancient Olympic Games were founded in a search for Truce, so competition could replace deadly conflict.  This Truce lasted for 293 consecutive Olympics, spanning 1,200 years (776 BC - 393 AD) making it the longest running peace accord in human history.
  • Wrestling embodies the Olympic spirit and is exactly what the IOC stands for. It is an inclusive sport that provides opportunities to athletes worldwide, regardless of geography, race, gender, or physical characteristics. There are few barriers to entry. Only two people and a flat surface are needed to compete.
  • It is one of the most diverse sports in the world with almost 200 nations participating worldwide.  71 countries qualified to compete in the 2012 London games, and 29 different countries medaled.
  • Wrestling builds determination, diligence and perseverance.  Wrestlers are known for their work ethic.
  • Many countries have their own unique traditional style of wrestling.  Many of these disciplines are ingrained into their culture, and include grandeur ceremonies, festivities, and celebrations.

    US Facts
  • The United States has won 129 medals in wrestling at the Olympics, which is fourth among all U.S. sports programs in the Olympics.
  • The United States has won 52 Olympic gold medals, including two at the 2012 London Games.
  • The United States has won a World Team title in all three Olympic styles, men’s freestyle (1993, 1995), women’s freestyle (1999) and Greco-Roman (2007).

    Scholastic Wrestling
  • Scholastic wrestling ranks 6th of all boys' sports in terms of participation at the high school level with over 270,000 nation-wide.
  • Record number of boy's teams at 10,488
  • Since 1994, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 to 8727.
  • California, Guam, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Texas, and Washington sponsor a girl's state high school championship.
  • Since 2002-03, the number of high school wrestlers has grown by over 40,000.

    Collegiate Wrestling
  • Intercollegiate wrestling has over 100 years of competition.
  • Collegiate wrestling typically ranks in the top 5 in revenue production of all NCAA Championships (2009 NCAA Championships set a NCAA attendance record).
  • 101 new or re-instated intercollegiate wrestling teams (all divisions) have been established since 2002.
  • Wrestling has one of the lowest per cost student-athlete of any male sport with a large squad size which makes it an ideal sport to help increase male enrollment.
  • Wrestling has very modest start-up costs and needs.
  • Wrestling ranks first among all men's NCAA sports in 1st generation student-athletes.
  • Wrestlers have performed exceptionally well in the classroom as evidenced by the number of All-American and NCAA Champions earning National and Conference Academic accolades.

    Women’s Wrestling
  • 20 colleges now sponsor a varsity wrestling program
  • Women's wrestling is now a recognized Olympic sport

    International Wrestling
  • Wrestling was included in the ancient Olympic Games, and was one of the select sports included in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896
  • Over 135 nations sponsor a wrestling federation.
  • Wrestling is one of the top three medal winning sports for the United States.