Wrestling is one of the few sports that can be traced back to the beginnings of recorded history. There are cave drawings in France that are over 15,000 years old. Babylonian and Egyptian and Babylonian relief’s depict wrestling bouts where wrestlers are using most of the holds known to the modern-day sport.
Wrestling was a big part of ancient Greek literature and legend. Back then wrestling was the number one sport in Greece and also one of the most brutal. The ancient Romans adopted the sport with much enthusiasm but devised rules to eliminate most of the brutality.
Early American settlers brought the sport of wrestling to the new world when they came from England. tradition with them when they came from England. The sport was also very popular with the native Americans. Amateur wrestling was very popular and indeed flourished with matches taking place during holiday celebrations, county fairs and as a means for the military to maintain fitness.
New York city hosted the first national organized wrestling tournament in 1888 and the modern Olympic games sanctioned the first wrestling matches at the St Louis games in 1904.
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, FILA, was founded in 1912, in Antwerp, Belgium.
The first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896, included Greco-Roman Wrestling and there were no categories based on weight. The sport then made an Olympic comeback in 1904 but Greco-Roman was not re-included until 1908.
Women’s wrestling was included in the Olympic games in 2004.