We are a few days away from the start of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, but there is news already coming out about the next Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. It was announced earlier today that the International Olympic Committee agreed to add new sports to the 2020 Summer Games. They are Baseball/Softball, Karate, Skateboard, Sports climbing, and surfing.
The decision was made during the 129th IOC session in Rio, days before the start of the 2016 Olympics. As of right now, plans are calling to stage the skateboarding and sports climbing events that are being installed in urban settings. This is a historical step in bringing the Olympics to younger people and reflecting the trend of urbanization of the sport. The organizing committee approved the idea of these five sports being added for the Tokyo 2020 games.
The vote was a culmination of a two- year process that began with the approval of the IOC’s road map in 2014. It should be noted that the last time baseball and softball was considered an Olympic sport, you need to go back to 2008. The other sports that were added have never been an Olympic sport in recent time. What will be interesting to see is how these other sports will be done at the Olympics. For instance, how is skateboard now an Olympic sport, my assumption is you would have teams of skaters from the countries who would compete in matches?
The inclusion of the sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes. The IOC Executive Board will not finalize the final plans for the 2020 Olympics until mid-2017. My hope is the prep for the 2020 Olympics has a smoother road than the prep work for the one that starts in a few days. Stay tuned to Inscriber as we will provide a daily medal count. I will also have a daily medal count on my twitter page, @jon_blayne.