Congratulations!  Either you’ve already chosen to participate in wrestling, one of the few sports that can be traced back to the earliest records of sports known to mankind, or you’re considering it!  You may immediately associate the sport of wresting with the Greeks or Romans (think Greco-Roman wrestling), but in actuality the sport of wrestling has been documented in the discovery of 15,000 year old cave drawings in France and Babylonian reliefs depict wrestlers using holds known to the sport as we know it today.  Wrestling went world-wide long ago!  Wrestling does hold a very distinguished place in both Greek and Roman history as it was the number one sport in Greece, as well as the most brutal.  The ancient Romans were said to have adopted the sport, as well as refined it to take out the majority of the brutality.  Early settlers brought the sport of wrestling to the New World from England and was popular with Native Americans as well.

While the sport may have gone largely unchanged, wrestling gear has gone through many adaptations, largely within the past few centuries.  Today, amateur wrestlers wear what are called singlets, but in the first half of the 20th Century, they weren’t readily seen. Before WWII, collegiate programs like Oklahoma and Kent State made their athletes wear woolen trunks … can you imagine?

The first organized national tournament took place in New York City in 1888 and it wasn’t until 1904 that the modern Olympic games sanctioned the first wrestling matches at the St. Louis games.  Seems odd that such an ancient sport wasn’t adopted by the Olympics until 1904!  It took until 1908 for Greco-Roman wrestling to be reinstated in the Olympic games.  The midwest kept the momentum moving in the world of wrestling with the first CNCAA Wrestling Championships taking place in Ames, Iowa in 1912.  Almost 100 years later, wrestling has been enjoyed at the amateur and professional level by thousands upon thousands.