1896 AD

The first modern Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece featured wrestling with rules similar to modern Greco-Roman.  With no weight classifications for the competition there would be just one winner among competitors of all sizes.

  • Timeline

    • 2600 BC

      One of the world’s oldest known artifacts of sport, a vase made of small bronze statuettes of wrestlers was found in the ruins of Khafaji, 200 miles from Baghdad. ...

    • 2500 BC

      Paintings of wrestling holds and techniques were found in the lavish tombs of Egyptian Kings and high officials.  These paintings depict holds that are still executed today. ...

    • 708 BC

      Wrestling was first recorded as an event at the Ancient Olympic Games in the 18th Olympiad.  Greeks believed strongly in the concept of “agon” (competition) and the ultimate goal was to be the best.  It was ...

    • 858 AD

      It is widely believed that Japanese Emperor Seiwa secured the throne after victory in a wrestling bout.  It is during this time that Sumo and Judo emerge as two distinct styles of combat. ...

    • 1848 AD

      Napoleonic Soldier Jean Exbraya created a wrestling rule that prohibited holds below the waist to distinguish it from other forms of hand-to-hand combat.  It would later become known as Greco-Roman Wrestling as a nod to ...

    • 1896 AD

      The first modern Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece featured wrestling with rules similar to modern Greco-Roman.  With no weight classifications for the competition there would be just one winner among competitors of ...

    • 1904 AD

      A second form of wrestling was added to the Olympic program called “Freestyle” in the III Olympiad in St. Louis, MO. ...

    • 1905 AD

      The Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées was founded and initially governed both wrestling and weightlifting.  Today, known as FILA, it serves as the international governing body of Freestyle and ...

    • 1928 AD

      The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) crowns its first team champion in Oklahoma State University.  Head Coach Ed Gallager would go on to lead OSU to 11 team championships. ...

    • 1932 AD

      The city of Los Angeles hosts the games of the X Olympiad in what today is known as Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Americans Robert Pearce (56 kg), Jack van Bebber (72 kg) and Peter Mehringer (87 kg) won gold medals in ...

    • 1968 AD

      In the summer, a conference was held with representatives from FILA, NCAA and high school associations at O’hare Airport in Chicago, IL to discuss a new national governing association for wrestling.  This would set ...

    • 1972 AD

      Legendary American wrestling figure Dan Gable won Olympic Gold in Munich, Germany without surrendering a single offensive point.  He would go on to coach the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA Championships titles in 21 ...

    • 1984 AD

      Los Angeles hosts the Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad.  The U.S. would win 9 Olympic Gold medals in wrestling including 2 in Greco-Roman wrestling (Steve Frazier – 90 kg and Jeff ...

    • 1990 AD

      John Smith the first American wrestler to win 4 consecutive World Championships is awarded the James E. Sullivan Award as the nations most outstanding amateur athlete.  Referred to as the “Oscar” of sports, Smith ...

    • 1994 AD

      Oklahoma State University wrestler Pat Smith becomes the first wrestler to win the NCAA Championships four times.  His 121-5-2 career record ranks him among the best in the storied history of Oklahoma State University ...

    • 2001 AD

      At the IOC Executive Board meeting held in Lausanne, Switzerland it was decided to include women’s wrestling on the program of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens, Greece in 2004 ...

    • 2002 AD

      Iowa State University wrestler Cael Sanderson becomes the first wrestler to go undefeated through his NCAA career.  His record of 159-0 was called the No. 2 most outstanding achievement in collegiate sports history by ...

    • 2004 AD

      Women’s wrestling debuts in the Games of XXVIII Olympiad, in Athens, Greece.  Wrestlers Patricia Miranda (Bronze – 48 kg) and Sara McMann (Silver – 63 kg) would earn America’s first women’s wrestling ...

    • 2011 AD

      Arizona State University wrestler Anthony Robles earned the ESPY’s “Jimmy V Award for Perseverance” for his 2011 NCAA Championship at 125 pounds after being born with just one leg. ...

    • Did you know

      At Tokyo in 1964, Japan’s Osamu Watanabe ended his career undefeated by winning his 186th consecutive match to claim Olympic gold. Before point scoring was introduced, wrestling matches continued until one wrestler was ...

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