Earlier this summer we wrote about the intention of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include 5 new sports for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This is now official, as the IOC announced yesterday (3rd August, 2016) that Karate, skateboarding, rock climbing, and surfing will all make their Olympic debuts at the Tokyo Games. Moreover, 8 years after being left out of the Games, also baseball/softball become Olympic sports again.
According to the IOC, the addition of these 5 sports will attract more youth at the Olympics, both as athletes and as spectators, which is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games main aim.
“We want to take sport to the youth. With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them. Tokyo 2020’s balanced proposal fulfils all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games”, said IOC President Thomas Bach.
The inclusion of the 5 new sports in Tokyo 2020 Games does not affect the athletes or event quotas of the already Olympic sports and it’s neither binding nor conclusive for future Olympic Games. On the contrary, 18 new events and 474 athletes will be added in the Olympic program.
Gender equality was something that troubled significantly the IOC, which made sure that equal numbers of women and men will take part in these 5 sports (except for baseball/softball – same number of teams but more men players in total, as each baseball team numbers 9 players more than softball).
According to the SURFER MAGAZINE the surfing competition in Tokyo 2020 Games will take place at an ocean beach – and not in a wave pool, as many thought – about 40 minutes from Tokyo. 20 male and 20 female competitors will be qualified to participate.
Whilst most of the athletes and related federations are excited and positive towards the inclusion of the 5 new sports for Tokyo 2020 Games, some are already taking the opposite side.
One thing is sure: Xtreme fun awaits us in 2020 and Tokyo Olympic Games!