1980ish Political Alignment of Wrestling Federations at the Rio Olympic Games

Since Russia is in the news again for having a state sponsored steroids and other performance enhancing substances program, I figured it would be a good time to look at the wrestling qualifiers at Rio through a historical cold war lens. Back in the good old days when televisions over 15 inches weighed over a thousand pounds and people had to read magazines on the commode.

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If the USSR were still just one federation, as was the case from 1952 to 1988, it could send a maximum of 18 wrestlers to Rio, or 5.16% of the qualification spots, as opposed to the 29.5% the former USSR countries earned in 2016.

Here’s the total number of qualifier by alignment categories.

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Into which bucket each federation fell was decided solely by me, so there will be some dependencies when held up to scrutiny (e.g. Finland, Mexico, Yugoslavia, et al). Here’s breakdown showing each country. Feel free to let me know where you think I messed up!

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