Freestyle wrestling has been around since the Greeks engaged in similar fights. There are drawings and descriptions of Greek wrestling matches that closely resemble freestyle wrestling. To the Greeks, wrestling was both a science and art and symbolized the most vital source of training for young men.
It was not until 1904 when freestyle wrestling made an appearance in the St. Louis Olympic Games. The only controversy over the sport entering the Games was brought up by American wrestlers. Freestyle wrestling has been present at every Modern Olympics with exception to both 1896 and 1912. Around this time, and with the help of the newly formed International Federation, the sport of wrestling was established in countries all around the world. However, freestyle wrestling largely consisted of wrestlers from England and America whereas wrestlers in Northern Europe had a large stake in Greco-Roman wrestling. Nearly a hundred year after freestyle wrestling was recognized as an Olympic sport, female wrestling was introduced to the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.
Freestyle wrestling takes place on an octagonal mat. There is a circle inside the octagonal mat referred to as the "fight circle." The wrestlers are trying to get their opponent to the mat and hold their shoulders down on the mat for a few seconds. In this particular form of wrestling, participants are allowed to grab their opponent under their waist. They are also allowed to use their legs to attack and defend themselves.
The uniform the wrestlers wear is called a singlet. It is made of tight-fitting fabric and allows the wrestler for flexibility. The wrestlers wear shoes that are made to grip the mat and allow for maximum mobility. Wrestlers typically accompany themselves with a blood rag, which allows them to wipe off any blood or sweat they accumulate throughout the match in which they are participating in.
Freestyling wrestling consists of various different weight classes. These weight classes determine who the wrestlers will go up against. There is a complex scoring system for this sport that assists in determining the winner of a match.