The professional wrestling is a very practiced sport since the antiquity. In 1848 a Frenchman named Exbrayat, ex soldier of Napoleón instituted the rule of not performing preys below the waist. This was origin of the Greco-Roman wrestling (then it was called “French wrestling” or “wrestling with flat hands”). The Italian Basilio Bartoli was the one that gave it the name of “Greco-Roman”.
When the Olympic Games reappears in Athens, the first Olympic Games of the modern era in 1896 the wrestling was considered from a historical point as important. So it was became one of the central sports of the Games. The Greco-Roman wrestling was perceived as the reincarnation of the Greek wrestling and the Roman wrestling as a reincarnation of antiquity and that was the one that was present in the first Olympic games.
Wrestling was admitted at the Olympic Games at the IOC session held in Paris in 1901. The first Olympic event took place at the Summer Olympics games in Saint Louis – 1904. The Olympic officials decided to add this new discipline, certainly less rich and less noble but with a great reputation, specially in Britain and the United States. In the 19th century it was one of the attractions of festivals and fairs, a way of professional entertainment, same as the Greco-Roman wrestling, it has been until now one of the great disciplines of the Olympic Games.
In 1912, FILA (International Federation of Associated Fights) was created, it is the international organization that runs this sport. Currently is the Russian Federation the one that runs the wrestling, particularly the Greco-Roman, but is dominated by the United States.
The list countries where the most of the international fighters comes is Iran, Turkey and Mongolia, where wrestling is the national sport. For the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000, the program of wrestling was modified. Since 1972, wrestling was divided into ten weight categories in the two styles. At the Sydney Games, only eight weight categories were presented in each style. The weights also changed slightly and the lighter category were deleted.
The reduction in the number of categories from 10 to 7 in LL and in GR allowed the introduction of women’s wrestling with four important categories at the 2004 Athens Olympics games, although in the world championships, they are just 7 weights disputed.
The first Greco-Roman wrestling world championship was in Vienna in 1904 and the first competition took place in Helsinki in 1951. Seventeen countries shared wrestling medals at the 1996 Olympics games in Atlanta, 15 for Sydney and 17 for Athens. For the three modalities of Olympic Fights, the regulation is almost the same, with the exception of the non-use of the legs in Greco-Roman wrestling.