You're in! Four new sports make the cut for Tokyo Olympics A surfer rides a wave at Ipanema beach ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 5, 2016. It was announced that surfing will be part of the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. (AP Photo/David Goldman/Patrick Semansky)
You're in! Four new sports make the cut for Tokyo Olympics
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Baseball and softball are returning to the Olympics in 2020, while skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing are joining the games for the first time.
 
The IOC approved the addition of the sports for the Tokyo Games, calling it an "innovative" mix of traditional and youth-oriented events that will attract Japanese and global fans.
 
The five, including a combined baseball-softball bid, were put forward for inclusion last year by Tokyo organizers. Under new IOC rules, host cities can propose additional sports for their own games.
 
IOC members voted unanimously to accept the five sports as a package. The approval was for the Tokyo Games only.
 
The new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes to the program. The Tokyo Games will now feature 33 sports and about 11,000 athletes, compared to the usual number of 28 sports and 10,500 athletes.
 
While men's baseball and women's softball, both highly popular in Japan, will return after a 12-year absence, the other sports will be making their Olympic debuts.
 
The IOC called it "the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic program in modern history."
 
"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," IOC President Thomas Bach said.
 
Baseball and softball have been off the Olympic program since the 2008 Beijing Games. The two were rejected in separate bids to return for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, so they combined forces to put forward a single bid for inclusion in Tokyo.
 
Men's baseball was a full part of the Olympic program from 1992 to 2008, with women's softball joining in 1996. The IOC voted them out in 2005.
 
Baseball will have a six-team tournament, short of the eight-team format sought by officials from the sport's international federation. Women's softball will also have six teams. The games will be played at a shared venue In Yokohama.
 
"Today's historic decision by the IOC is a 'home run' for the Olympics, our sport and the Tokyo 2020 Games," said Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
 
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred also welcomed the IOC vote.
 
"Baseball and softball are global sports that belong in the Olympics," he said, adding that their approval "will allow fans throughout the world to again enjoy baseball and softball on the Olympic stage."
 
Craig Cress, executive director of USA Softball, said many young players had suffered after the sport was removed from the games.
 
"Their hearts were broken that they weren't allowed to participate for their country at the Olympics in the sport that they had a passion for," he said. "Now that's back. In 2020, it's our job as ambassadors of the sport to put on a great show in Tokyo."
 
Before the vote, several IOC members questioned whether baseball would have the world's top players at the games. While pro leagues in Japan and some other countries have agreed to shut down their seasons to send their players to the Olympics, Major League Baseball has declined to do so.
 
Franco Carraro, who chairs the IOC's program commission, said he hopes the international federation can still reach an agreement with MLB, in line with the deals with the NBA and NHL that brought pro basketball and ice hockey players into the Olympics.
 
If not, Carraro said, said it will be "difficult for baseball to be included in the future" beyond the Tokyo Games.
 
Skateboarding will have street and park events, and feature 80 athletes, 40 men and 40 women. In climbing, 40 competitors will take part in the disciplines of speed, bouldering and lead (also known as sport). Karate will have 80 athletes competing in men's and women's Kumite and Kata events, while surfing will have two shortboard events for 40 competitors.
 
The surfing competition will be held on natural waves at a beach location in Chiba prefecture.
 
"Our Olympic dream has now become a reality," International Surfing Association President Fernando Aguerre said. "This is a game-changing moment for surfing."
 
Skateboarding and sports climbing events will be held in temporary venues in urban settings in Tokyo, while karate will be contested at the Nippon Budokan in the capital.
 
"I've always believed that if skateboarding was properly protected and supported, its appearance on the Olympic stage could change the world," International Skateboarding Federation president Gary Ream said.
 
Skateboarding's approval came despite tensions between rival federations.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do Olympic officials consider adding new sports?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (84)
  • parkerz-cel
    8/15/2016 - 10:02 a.m.

    i belive that olympic officials are considering adding new sports to the olympics because they see alot of talent that isnt getting shown to the world. for example baseball getting added back to the olympics would be a great idea because alot of professional baseball players play in america but come from out of the country, so the olympics would allow them to play and compete for their home town. surfing is another good game to add, it allows a sport that isnt very common to be shown infront of the worlds viewers and it helps boost popularity.

  • jareds-cel
    8/15/2016 - 10:11 a.m.

    Olympic officials may be considering adding new sports is to keep the people at home interested. Eventually people get tired of watching the same old stuff air all the time so they're probably working on keeping the games fresh and up to date. Also to keep the athletes on their toes and not to settle for just one event. More people around the globe interested in baseball in softball will tune into the games in 2020 therefore the olympics getting more viewers and making the games more popular. Plus professional baseball players get the opportunity to represent their country again.

  • metau-cel
    8/15/2016 - 10:11 a.m.

    I think Olympic officials consider adding new sports so that there can be a new buzz of entertainment, and sports that feel left out can now be included. By adding new sports it adds on to the Olympics and makes it more diverse and cooler than it already is. Also by having more competitions it gives countrys a new devotion to competing and being the first Olympics with new sports, it would be amazing to be the athlete to win for your country.

  • sydneys-cel
    8/15/2016 - 10:27 a.m.

    It will mix the youthful and traditional sports which will create a bigger and wider span of audience.

  • benp2-pol
    8/25/2016 - 03:06 p.m.

    It's very interesting that they are adding new sports to the Tokyo Olympics.

  • kaileew-ste
    9/08/2016 - 02:16 p.m.

    In an attempt to attract global fans, there will be four new sports being introduced in the 2020 Olympics. This includes skateboarding, karate, sport climbing, and surfing. The new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes to the games.

  • kaitlyn-war
    9/16/2016 - 02:05 p.m.

    I think that the fact that all these sports are being added to the Olympics is amazing because it gives the pros of these sports a chance to really prove themselves. I'm also really excited for it because I like to watch skateboarding and surfing.

  • zakrym-ste
    9/19/2016 - 01:29 p.m.

    Baseball should have never left. Skate boarding should not be even in the discussion for a sport in the olympics. what a disgrace.

  • codyh2-man
    11/03/2016 - 11:16 a.m.

    Thank goodness the olympics are bringing back baseball. I feel baseball should be a sport in the olympics because lots of countries around the world participate in the game.

  • izmaz-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:02 a.m.

    By adding more sports, more people are brought together. By having a wide variety of sports to watch, different people of culture and backgrounds will mix in together. This will then cause a mix of different traditional activities, which always has a beneficial influence on the audience. Adding sports will also help gain more people from different countries to participate in the games, which financially will help Tokyo. With this help and positive impact, Tokyo will have the capability to things that werent possible before, but are now because of the higher raise in finance.

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