Youth-focused Sports in Tokyo 2020
To offer opportunities for youth and flexibility in the development of the Olympic programme, the International Olympic Committee (OIC) today approved adding karate, baseball/softball, sports climbing, skateboard, and surfing to sports programmes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Today’s vote marks the end of a two-year process that began with the unanimous approval of the IOC’s strategic roadmap in 2014.
In addition, the Organising Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Games proposed the five new sports in connection with the new flexibility approach provided by Olympic Agenda 2020. The proposal was submitted to the OIC in September 2015.
Historic Step in Bringing Games to Young People
With the goal to help youth to fulfill their dreams to compete in the world’s greatest sporting stage, the Olympic Games, the approval to add the emerging five new sports in the is the smart thing to do.
This was attested by IOC President Thomas Bach who said, “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.”
Aside from that, the new sports will become a venue for the young generation to fulfill their dreams to compete in the Olympic Games.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said, “The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realise their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games – the world’s greatest sporting stage – and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life.”
What to Expect?
According to OIC, the five new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes, with equal numbers of women and men for all sports except baseball/softball.
In addition, Tokyo 2020 will still depend on existing and temporary venues to stage the competitions.
Discussions are underway on the event programme in the existing 28 Olympic sports for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as well. It is expected to be finalised by the IOC Executive Board in 2017.