Wrestling Styles

Olympic Wrestling

There are two wrestling disciplines at the Olympic Games – Freestyle (men and women) and Greco-Roman (men only). It is a body-to-body combat sport where athletes aim to force the back of the opponent’s shoulders on to the ground. A wrestling bout comprises two three-minute periods, with a 30 second break. Wrestlers are awarded points from officials for technical manoeuvres against their opponent. The person who wins 2 out of 3 periods wins the bout.

Greco-Roman wrestling allows competitors to use only their arms to “attack” the upper bodies of their opponents.

Freestyle wrestling allows competitors to use their arms and legs to perform holds on the whole body of their opponents.

The 18 events that make up the Olympic competition program are:

  • Men’s Freestyle (7 events): 55, 60, 66, 74, 84, 96, 120kg
  • Men’s Greco-Roman (7 events): 55, 60, 66, 74, 84, 96, 120kg
  • Women’s Freestyle (4 events): 48, 55, 63, 72kg


Australia’s first wrestler was Harry Morris in the welterweight division at the Amsterdam Games in 1928. Australia has been represented by at least one wrestler at every Games since then. Three Australians have won Olympic medals in freestyle events, but never in Greco-Roman. In Los Angeles 1932, Eddie Scarf was third in the light-heavyweight division. Twelve years later in London, Dick Garrard won a silver medal as a welterweight and Jim Armstrong won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division.

Women competed in wrestling for the first time at the 2004 Athens Olympics, in four freestyle weight categories. Australia was first represented in women’s wrestling at Beijing 2008 by Kyla Bremner.

To read more about Australia’s Olympic wrestling history, click here