The Olympics of 2020 will be held in Tokyo, Japan and even though they are four years away, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already begun planning. A groundbreaking decision the IOC made was deciding to include five new sports! The decision was made in order for the Olympic Games to appeal to younger crowds, according to the official Olympics website. The site stated, “Plans call for staging the skateboarding and sports climbing events in temporary venues installed in urban settings, marking a historic step in bringing the Games to young people and reflecting the trend of urbanisation of sport.”
One of the five new sports being added to the games is Surfing. Athletes will have to take a 45 minute train ride from Tokyo to get the town of Chiba, where the event will be held in the ocean instead of a wave pool. There will 40 competitors, 20 men and 20 women, in total; all competitors will compete with a shortboard, no longboards or bodyboards. The International Surfing Association’s president, Fernando Aguerre, has been fighting for surfing to be an Olympic sport for decades, and has finally won his fight.
. Competitive climbing, though not popular, is another exciting new sport being added to the 2020 games. Athletes who compete will have to participate in three sections, bouldering, which is done without ropes, or harnesses; speed, where an athlete must race to finish climbing first; and lead, in which a climber does rope and harnesses, but must switch them to different levvys as he or she complete her or his climb. The point system of this event has not yet been determined. According to Rock and Ice Magazine, “Climbers worldwide have expressed their disbelief and excitement for the future of climbing.”
Some people think including Karate in the 2020 Olympics is too much, considering there is already Taekwondo and Judo among other fighting sports. Despite this, many people have fought for this “art” to be included in the games. The event will include Kata events for males and females, which is a form of individual practice for Karate. Also, the events will include six Kumite events, three male and three female. Kumite is a form of martial art freestyle fighting. A lot of the information for the event, such as scoring system and location, hasn’t been announced yet, so there will be more information to come.
Baseball and softball are being added to the Olympics in 2020, but they are no strangers to the games. In 2008, the event was included in the Beijing Games. Baseball/softball is the most popular sport in Japan, so the addition was widely welcomed. Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball Commissioner said, “We are excited about the IOC’s announcement restoring Baseball and Softball to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Baseball and Softball are global sports that belong in the Olympics. We are grateful to the IOC Executive Board, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation for their collective efforts, which will allow fans throughout the world to again enjoy Baseball and Softball on the Olympic stage.” This is great news for the estimated 64 million players of the sport who live all over the world.
One of the most debated additions of the year is skateboarding. Skateboarding’s journey to attention has been a long one, but the sport is highly anticipated. The addition was the biggest hope to appeal to younger audiences, considering the vast majority of avid skateboarders are under 18. Though, not all skateboarders are excited about the Olympic addition. An online petition with the aim of getting the sport removed has over 7,000 signatures, close to its goal of 10,000. The petition states, “Skateboarding is not a ‘sport’ and we do not want skateboarding exploited and transformed to fit into the Olympic program. We feel that Olympic involvement will change the face of skateboarding and its individuality and freedoms forever.” The event will include both park and street skateboarding. Park skateboarding takes place with ramps, where as street skateboarding is on a flat surface with stairs and pole-like things. Despite the debates, the event will take place and plenty of people are excited about it.
The decisions of the IOC have been groundbreaking for youth. The sports that people have held so dearly to their hearts are going to be presented on the Olympic stage. Many athletes are getting the opportunity to show off their skills to the world. One thing is true no matter what, there are lots of people who can’t wait till 2020!
Murray, Emma. “Tokyo 2020 Olympics Officially Approves Climbing.” Tokyo 2020 Olympics Officially Approves Climbing. N.p., 4 Aug. 2016. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.
“Olympic Sports : Karate｜The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.” The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. IOC, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.
Olympic Baseball, Softball to Return in 2020 as Part of New Sports Package. WBSC, 3 Aug. 2016. Web. 3 Nov. 2016.
“Olympics: IOC Adds Five New Sports to Games for Tokyo 2020.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web.
Roberts, Laura. “2020 Olympic Games.” Team USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.