Wrestling

Wrestling represents one of the oldest forms of combat. Literary references to it occur as early as in The Iliad in which Homer recounts the Trojan War of the 13th or 12th century BC. The origins of wrestling go back 15,000 years through cave drawings in France. Babylonian and Egyptian reliefs show wrestlers using most of the holds known in the present-day sport. In ancient Greece wrestling occupied a prominent place in legend and literature; wrestling competition, brutal in many aspects, served as the focal sport of the ancient Olympic Games. The ancient Romans borrowed heavily from Greek wrestling, but eliminated much of its brutality. During the Middle Ages (5th to 15th Century) wrestling remained popular and enjoyed the patronage of many royal families, including those of France, Japan and England. Early European settlers in America brought a strong wrestling tradition with them if they arrived from England. The settlers also found wrestling to be popular among Native Americans. The first organized national wrestling tournament took place in New York City in 1888, and wrestling has been an event at every modern Olympic Games since the 1904 games in St. Louis, Missouri.
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