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 International Olympic Committee approved the addition of the sports for the Tokyo Games. The IOC called 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. That is compared to the usual number of 28 sports and 10,500 athletes.
 
Men's baseball and women's softball, both popular in Japan, will return to the Olympics 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."
 
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. 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. Women's softball was added in 1996. The IOC voted them out in 2005.
 
Baseball will have a six-team tournament. That is 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 in Yokohama.
 
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred welcomed the IOC vote.
 
"Baseball and softball are global sports that belong in the Olympics," he said. Manfred added 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, MLB 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.
 
Skateboarding will have street and park events. It will 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. Karate will be contested at the Nippon Budokan in the capital.

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


COMMENTS (19)
  • abbyl-pav
    9/15/2016 - 10:05 a.m.

    I think it's really cool that they are adding new sports to the summer Olympics. The Olympic officials are adding new sports so we can have more athletes more people can play in the Olympics games.

  • garrettw-bla
    9/15/2016 - 11:32 a.m.

    The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will feature new sports such as skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing. Baseball and Softball will be reintroduced to the Olympics this year. I think that this is a good opportunity for people who play these sports to represent their country and play on the Olympic stage.

  • kayleel-bla
    9/15/2016 - 12:00 p.m.

    The Olympic Officials consider adding new sports, because they called it an "innovative mix of traditional youth-oriented that will attract Japanese and global fans." In my opinion , I think that adding these sports is a good idea. I think this, because to me, I think this will attract more people to come to Tokyo and support their teams. This will also have more viewers to tune in on TV. Overall, I think adding these new sports will be a wonderful, money making idea!

  • ahatz-wim4
    9/16/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    So people that play that sports be motivated and will have passion for the sport they love. More people will also start watching the Olympics.

  • graceh-ver
    10/07/2016 - 02:37 p.m.

    Article very interesting love surfing and I am glad that it is making it into the next summer olympics.

  • jenaea-sto
    10/13/2016 - 03:13 p.m.

    they want to add these sports back because people miss these type of sports and just were heart broken that they left. plus, its been gone for eight years. time for these sports to come back!

  • lanew-lew
    10/27/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    I'm happy baseball, softball, skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing are coming to the Tokyo olympics in 2020.

  • markv-lam
    10/28/2016 - 01:29 p.m.

    This is awesome and I think long overdue, I thought it was very interesting how we have sports like Handball and Water Polo in the Olympics but we didn't have Baseball. I did not know Baseball and Softball were so popular in Japan that is very cool.

  • amym3-sch
    2/03/2017 - 01:45 p.m.

    Extra Credit Article:

    1) This article relates to health and happiness because athletes around the world can finally ".. enjoy baseball and softball on the Olympic stage." Before, when baseball and softball was removed from the Olympics, "many young players had suffered after the sport was removed from the games." Consequently, "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." Additionally, as baseball and softball are returning, "skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing are joining the games for the first time". This will open up opportunities for athletes to pursue their passion and take it with them into the world and represent their countries strength.

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