Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Date Started: September 18, 1988
Date Finished: October 1, 1988
Participants: 429 (429 men and 0 women) from 69 countries
Youngest Participant: Huang Chien-Lung (17 years, 328 days)
Oldest Participant: Ambroise Sarr (37 years, 280 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 60 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Soviet Union (15 medals)
The 1988 wrestling events were held at the Sangmu Gymnasium in Seongnam, and it was the only sport held there during the Seoul Olympics. The gymnasium was built in 1986 to host the 1988 wrestling competition and had a capacity of 5,000 spectators.
Both freestyle and Greco-Roman had 10 weight classes, as they had since 1972, and would through 1996. However, in the heaviest class in each style, the class now had an upper weight limit of 130 kg (286 lbs). This was chosen because the unlimited class had started to have bigger and bigger wrestlers, which was distorting the event somewhat, typified by the huge American from 1972, Chris Taylor, who weighed over 182 kg (400 lbs). Each class was separated into A and B Groups. Placements were determined by a double elimination tournament within each group, with the top four in each group advancing to placement matches for 1st-8th place.
Although the Soviet Union had missed the 1984 Olympics due to their boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics, they had been the top nation in Olympic wrestling since their début in 1952, and this continued in 1988. The Soviets won the most medals, with 15, the most gold medals, with 8, and led both medal lists (total and gold) in both styles.