Iran's Alireza Dabir stands on the podium wearing his gold medal after beating Ukraine's Yevgen Buslovych in the 58 kg freestlye wrestling final at the Sydney Olympics Sunday
Steven Lopez of the United States, center, celebrates his gold medal with runners up Joon-Sik Sin of Korea with silver, left, and Hadi Saeibonehkohal of Iran with bronze from the men's 68 kilogram taekwondo competition at the Sydney Olympic Games Thursday, September 28, 2000. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
USA's Cary Kolat is thrown on his head by defending world champion from Iran Mohammad Talaei in a qualifying freestyle wrestling match at the Sydney Olympic Games, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2000. Kolat may be the most star-crossed American wrestler ever. Even when he wins, he loses. Kolat, one of the best U.S. amateur wrestlers ever, won his first Olympic freestyle match Thursday, saw it protested, then lost the rematch to world champion Mohammad Talaei of Iran 5-4. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)
I have no idea why, but most of the champion wrestlers/body builders seem to originate in countries that form an arc that can be traced from the Balkans/Mediterranean, sweeps over the Anatolian peninsula/Caucasus and eventually winds up in central Asia/Iran.