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Wrestling is, simply put, a combative sporting activity between two people. If you grew up in the '90s, you probably associate the word wrestling with The Rock and The Undertaker who performed legendary moves like the tombstone piledriver or the Rock bottomt. But here's a news flash: as entertaining as those so-called wrestling moves are, they don't even begin to capture the essence of real wrestling!
The legitimized--and real--form of the sport involves moves like grappling, clinch fighting, throws, pin-downs and joint locks. It is basically a physical competition--a test of strength--between the two competitors who are attempting to gain (and maintain) a superior position over each other. Today there are various different styles of wrestling including, oil wrestling, mud wrestling, combat grappling, etc. However, we'll focus on Olympic wrestleing aka amatuer wrestling.
There are two main forms of Olympic wrestling, namely the Greco-Roman, where athletes grapple with each other using only arms and upper bodies. And then there's freestyle, which allows competitors to use pretty much any--well, almost any--body part they want. The aim is to force your opponent's shoulders back onto the ground for a prolonged period of time until the referee blows the whistle. Varying scores are given for performing takedowns, exposures, reversals and penalties. People usually think it looks easy until they try it!
Early wrestling dates as far back as 12 and 13 BC.
This year India has clinched five berths in at the London Games in wrestling. The contingent includes the likes of Amit Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Narsingh Pancham Yadav in the men's contingent, while Geeta Phogat qualified for the women's event. All athletes are taking part in the freestyle wrestling events.
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