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Aug 04, 2016

Surfing, Sport Climbing, Skateboarding in Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The International Olympics Committee has approved five new sports for Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which include surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, baseball and karate.

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In a bid to bring the Olympic Games to young people, the the 129th International Olympics Committee (IOC) session in Rio de Janeiro last night called for the inclusion of five new sports to Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The five new sports are surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, baseball and karate.

The IOC website press release calls this decision “the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history.”

IOC President Thomas Bach 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.”

Sport Climbing is among the five new sports included in Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Photo © Chris/Wikimedia Commons
Sport Climbing is among the five new sports included in Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Photo © Chris/Wikimedia Commons

The surfing community is ecstatic with the announcement. The International Surfing Association (ISA) President  Fernando Aguerre said in a press release, “This is a game-changing moment for Surfing. We are already seeing increased popularity of the sport across the world and the Olympic Games will provide an incredible platform to further showcase Surfing and its core values. With its unique and modern blend of sport performance, style and youth culture, surfing will help deliver something special to the Games.”

According to a report in Surfer Mag, the competition will include “high performance shortboarding only.” It will take place in the ocean, not a wave pool – in a place called Chiba, and will have 40 competitors – 20 men and 20 women. It also mentions that surfers not part of the World Surf League will also get a chance to represent their country.

Windsurfing world champion and TOJ Ambassador Tony Philp also expressed his happiness on the announcement on his Facebook profile.

For the climbing community, the announcement has been a culmination of a focussed campaign headed by the International Federation for Sport Climbing (IFSC). In a press release on their website, the IFSC President Marco Scolaris said, “We are so happy that Sport Climbing will be participating in the Games of Tokyo. The Olympics have been our dream for quite some time, and now the hard work has finally paid off. We would like to thank the IOC for extending a truly unique opportunity to our sport.”

The IFSC will now work closely with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organising Committee to finalise venue and infrastructure details.

According to a report in Highsnobiety, skateboarding “will operate under the supervision of the Tokyo 2020 Skateboarding Commission.” There will be a total of 80 competitors.

The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo from 24th July to 9th August.

Feature Image: Surfing in Teahupoo, Papeete, Tahiti (Image © The Last Minute (Flickr)/Wikimedia Commons)


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