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 (193)
  • shannamc-
    8/15/2016 - 09:11 a.m.

    The Olympic officials are adding new sports because it will get more people motivated. It will make more people want to play the sports on an Olympic games than on a regular team. They want more people to play the games. They are mostly usually filled so,if they get more games then, more people can play. They want the same amount of games and people on each team. To conclude, the Olympics are adding new sports for more people to participate.

  • heatherb6828-
    8/15/2016 - 09:14 a.m.

    The Olympic officials are adding new sports because to have more people watch the Olympics. Some of the athletes explained that "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." When the officials voted the players out they thought that they weren't good enough.Now they are going to train harder.The reason is that the Olympics are for people who are the best of the best.Now they are going to prove that they are the best of the best in 2020. The officials want more of the younger generation to watch the Olympics.By adding these sports to the Olympics officials hope for more of the younger generation to be interested in the Olympics.

  • shannamc-
    8/15/2016 - 09:19 a.m.

    The Olympic officials are adding new sports because it will get young people motivated. It will make more young people want to play the sports. They want more people to play the games. To conclude, the Olympics are adding new sports for more people to participate.

  • dawsonb-rhi
    8/22/2016 - 08:58 a.m.

    more people will come.

  • bend-rhi
    8/22/2016 - 09:05 a.m.

    I cant wait for baseball.

  • quentinh-rhi
    8/22/2016 - 09:10 a.m.

    so the olympic games are a lot more fun. also people can have more sports.

  • jacobs-rhi
    8/22/2016 - 09:13 a.m.

    So they will have more money at the Olympics. I think they just want more fans. They have to spend more money.

  • thomask-rhi
    8/22/2016 - 09:14 a.m.

    its a lot more competitive. more athletes. more medicals could be won. base ball and other sports.

  • vivianr-pet
    8/22/2016 - 05:45 p.m.

    I do think that the four new Olympic sports will attract more Japanese and global fans to the summer Olympics in 2020. I think this because, people that are big fans of surfing, karate, skateboarding, and sport climbing will have more interest in the 2020 Olympics. Since they have an interest in the additional sports they will have more of an appeal to buy a plane ticket to Tokyo to watch the sports. Although, most people do not agree that skateboarding is a sport, it is still considered a sport to the IOC and all who enjoy skateboarding. Therefore, I do think that the four new Olympic sports will attract more Japanese and global fans to the upcoming 2020 summer Olympics.

  • tallulahs-pet
    8/22/2016 - 08:40 p.m.

    Critical Thinking Question:
    I think that the new sports will attract more fans. I say this because baseball and softball are very popular sports in Tokyo, so the more popular the sport, the more fans buying tickets to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Surfing and skateboarding were added because many young people are interested in these particular sports. Climbing and karate may not be as popular as baseball and softball, but they will still be an important element to the games. This is because new sports in the Olympic games are so popular, that they sell out in the first week. So they will be the jewel of the 2020 Olympic Games.

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