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Plato’s children

Why is freestyle wrestling the least popular Olympic sport?

By Richard Beard   September 2011

Britain’s Yana Stadnik is a medal hope for next year’s Games

By the end of July, over 3.5m tickets had been sold for the 26 sports making up the London 2012 Olympics. There were seats unsold for football and volleyball, but the only individual discipline with tickets left over was freestyle wrestling. In the competition for least-loved Olympic sport in Britain, freestyle wrestling was the winner.

What is it, exactly, that no one is in a rush to see? Freestyle wrestling differs from all-male Greco-Roman wrestling (also an Olympic discipline, but sold out) in three ways. Holds below the waist…

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