Been a while since a dorked out with some wrestling charts and graphs, but the recently concluded 2014 Freestyle Wresting Pan-Am Championships peaked my curiosity about wrestling federations NOT on either side of the Florida Straits. So I dug into the FILA database to see if I could figure out who the deepest and strongest programs are besides Cuba and the USA.
I picked the years 2005-2013 since those years corresponded with uniform numbers of weight classes (7) and placements (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, 5th, 5th). I then assigned points for each place, (10, 7, 5, 5, 2, 2). The point values are totally made up and chosen for simplicity and because it looked right to me. The top graph is all the years combined; the bottom chart shows the point totals broken out by year and country.
Unsurprisingly, the USA and Cuba dominate. Most times they don’t even send their varsity squad, although all 3 wrestlers who medaled at the 2013 World Championships in Hungary also competed last week in Mexico City, (btw congrats on being the Outstanding Wrestler of the Western Hemisphere and for the new baby boy Mr Jordan Ernest Burroughs!).
Canada is perhaps unsurprisingly the 3rd best Pan American team by our metric. What is most interesting to me is that Venezuela and Columbia turn up at 4 and 5 respectively. Venezuela shows very strong consistency too. I know next to nothing about the wrestling programs of either country, but I sure wouldn’t mind taking a fact-finding tour of both places. Maybe a winter vacation, starting in Cartagena?
I also kind of expected Brazil to fare better, given the size of the country and the local popularity of Ju-Jitsu and MMA. A nation ripe for wrestling growth then? I’ll volunteer for the development team!
Seriously mind need to look into doing that.