Can George St. Pierre Competing In The Olympics Help Boost MMA?

Sam NassarCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2010

         Georges St. Pierre has been rumored to be interested in competing in the 2012 Olympics in wrestling.  To many this is considered a lofty goal seeing as St. Pierre has no amateur wrestling background in high school, college or on a national circuit.  St. Pierre basically learned wrestling for MMA.  Any MMA fan or fighter could tell you that Georges is truly a once in a lifetime athlete learning the full gamut of skills needed to be successful in MMA.  GSP has shown himself to be a very talented wrestler training with many Canadian Olympians as well as Russian national wrestlers.  There are several advantages and disadvantages to this decision.  Many people have tried and failed trying to make the transition from MMA to another competitive sport.  Tatsuya Kawajiri and Kid Yamamoto are two that come to mind that have failed at moving to K-1 which is the premier kickboxing forum in the world.  Being a good striker in MMA and a good striker in K-1 are not the same thing.  However some have had success moving to another sport such as Allistar Overeem and Gegard Mousasi who are both MMA fighters with a kickboxing background who found success on the K-1 stage.  Will GSP have the success in competitive wrestling with all of the rule differences, points, and lack of competitive experience?  That all remains to be seen.  

            On to the positives to this endeavor if GSP can compete well and who knows maybe even place for a medal imagine the possibilities for the sport of MMA.  MMA has suffered for years to overcome the mentality that it is “street fighting” or a “blood sport” which requires no skill.  What way better to silence the critics then to legitimately compete in an Olympic sport and win.  With a win at the 2012 games GSP could silence critics, attract new fans to the sport of MMA, give respect to the fighters in MMA for being actual athletes as well as attracting new sponsors to the sport.

            Now for the negative, GSP realizes that he would have to commit everything to his Olympic hopes in order to even be competitive.  What does this mean for MMA fans?  More than likely we would be losing the privilege of watching GSP for a year or more.  As one of MMA’s top stars and champions GSP would be making a hefty sacrifice seeing as he is currently fighting in his prime as well as possibly relinquishing his welterweight title.

            Only time will tell if GSP will make the sacrifices needed to join the Canadian Olympic wrestling team and chase another dream.  Commitment, heart, and skill are certainly in full supply for the game French Canadian