UNDATED (CBS) -- The Olympics are taking a first step towards kicking wrestling off the mat. The 2016 games in Rio could mark their last appearance. Fans are leading a new competition to save the sport.
Wrestling isn't quite down for the count, but if the IOC Executive Committee has its way, the sport could be dropped after the 2016 Olympics. IOC spokesperson Mark Adams says, "This is not a case of what's wrong with wrestling, it is what's right with the 25 core sports."
He's talking about sports like diving and track and field, but also badminton, synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics.
The move tossed the wrestling world on its head. Univ. of Iowa wrestling Coach Tom Brands says, "The United States and these countries that all feel the same, being ambushed."
The sport can still win back its spot in 2020, but it will have to beat out baseball, softball, squash, in-line roller-skating and four other sports that want in including something called wushu.
In a statement, USA Wrestling said: "We look forward to telling the story about wrestling to the International Committee leadership and the entire world about our great sport and why it should be part of the Olympic movement forever."
Wrestling dates back to the Olympics of ancient Greece. It has been included since the first modern games in 1896. Today, the Olympics are the pinnacle of the sport.
Critics charge that the recommendation is less about history and more about politics of the Olympic committee and wrestling's popularity. Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa says, "The only rumors that I have heard is that viewer ratings for some of these sports don't match up globally to some of the other sports that were under consideration. But that was never clarified as part of the decision."
Olympic wrestling gold medalist Dan Gable says, "They're thinking wrestling might be the path of least resistance, when in reality, it might be the worst resistance."
As wrestlers and fans of the sport grapple with their next move, one thing is clear, they won't be taking this lying down.