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)
  • annd-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:06 a.m.

    the sport that would likely sell the most tickets would be skate-boarding because it is its first time making their debut. "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 stated.

  • dandres-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:13 a.m.

    in the 2020 Olympics i feel that the sport with the most tickets sold will be baseball because it is the only new sport that has already been in the Olympics before.And it is also the most popular of the group.And its making a return after being voted out in 2005.

  • talehaw-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:13 a.m.

    Olympic officials consider adding new sports to give people more of a variety to watch. Also to give different athletes a chance to represent their country by playing something they are passionate about. For example, the Tokyo games will now include
    baseball which has been out of the games for about 12 years. This is not only giving baseball players a chance to compete others around the world and give them experience but baseball fans to see players they love represent their country.

  • alishaf-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:19 a.m.

    I believe Olympic officials consider adding new sports to encourage more people to participate. According to the article, "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." But now that they are adding the new sports, everyone can have a chance to experience the Olympics. Adding new sports can also allow more people to watch their favorite sports at the Olympics. According to the article it says, "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." In conclusion, featuring the new sports on the Olympics would allow the athletes to experience the Olympics, and hopefully win a medal for their country.

  • melaniem-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:21 a.m.

    Olympic officials consider adding new sports in order to bring in more sports that can attract and please the viewers. Since some of the sports have been removed for years, new comeback for sports is in the process. Not only will they be bringing back sports, new sports will be making comebacks. All in All, the olympics will become a more varied event in which athletes are given more chances to represent their sports and viewers are able to watch their favorite sport being represented.

  • danishh-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:21 a.m.

    The Olympic officials consider adding new sports to the Olympics to get more popularity, and to increase public involvement and interest. According to an article on Tween Tribune, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) added 6 sports to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics- baseball, softball, karate, surfing, skateboarding, and climbing- calling it 'an "innovative" mix of traditional and youth-oriented events that will attract Japanese and global fans.' I think that the addition of these new sports will increase the popularity of the Olympics, especially among the American youth.

  • asiar-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:24 a.m.

    There are many sports that are not in the Olympics that are popular with the crowds. Since these sports, such as baseball, have many fans, it would generate more money because of the new fans going to support their favorite team. This would help the Olympics economically. There is not only baseball, their are numerous other sports. This means they would be benefiting about 3 times over if they made this change.

  • bhuwattiec-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:25 a.m.

    I feel like baseball and softball will earn the most tickets because it has been off the Olympics since 2008. Many people would be very excited to see it because it hasn't been on the Olympics in years. Baseball and softball are also very popular in Japan. Baseball and softball are global sports that belong in the Olympics and fans throughout the world will buy tickets in order to see these sports in the Olympics. Many people enjoy playing and watching these sports, which is why it would get the most tickets.

  • dontael2-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:45 a.m.

    I believe baseball is going to sell the most tickets because the Olympics is being held in Japan, and baseball is easily one of the most popular, if not the most popular sport in Japan. Therefore, the demand to watch it on an international scale in Japan will be extremely high, thus selling more tickets.

  • malakaig2-pay
    1/20/2017 - 08:54 a.m.

    They wanted to add innovation and youth to the sport. They also wanted to bring back sport in which presence has been absent for over 12 years. In Addition to this the Olympics officials say that soft/baseball is a sport that is welcomed and deserved to be a at the event. Adding more sports, Also adds more competition, making it more fun. I am happy sports are being added.

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