Tokyo 2021 Olympics: new events and sports added for the 2021 Summer Olympics
The IOC recommended in 2014 that the Olympics continue to have “approximately 10,500 athletes, 5,000 accredited coaches and athlete support staff, and 310 events” for each of the summer games. But it has also started to allow the organizing committees of the Olympic Games to make a proposal for the inclusion of one or more additional events in the program for this edition of the Games.
The Tokyo 2020 Games are the first to fully incorporate this model, and Japanese organizers have added four sports to compete for full gold, silver and bronze medals. Baseball and softball are also returning to the mainstream and will be sponsored for the first time after a 13-year hiatus from the Games.
Here’s a quick look at each of the sports added to the 2020 Olympic program.
Baseball / Softball
Baseball and softball are making a comeback for the first time since 2008. Baseball alone was a demonstration sport eight times until it was fully added to the Olympic program in 1992 in Barcelona. Softball became the sport of Atlanta in 1996,
Both sports are governed by the World Baseball and Softball Confederation, which merged the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) in 2013. Both sports were abolished by the International Olympic Committee in 2005 , and reinstated in the program in 2016. Either way, we will see both in Paris in 2024.
There are two forms of karate, but only one allows you to compete against an opponent. Kata is a martial arts demonstration that is a practitioner against air. It is almost as much an art form as it is a skill.
Kumite is the Daniel LaRussa Karate Kid action genre, not the Frank Dux Bloodsport action genre: two opponents try to kick and punch each other to score points, except there is a medal of gold instead of the All-Valley tournament trophy for the winner. Men and women will compete in both forms.
As you remember, and there are two versions: park and street. The rules are similar, but the dynamics and the obstacles of the two courses are different. And at least for these Olympic Games, there is no aerial half-pipe competition.
Did you know that the governing body of skateboarding also covers artistic rollerblading, inline hockey … and roller derby? I never dreamed of being part of an international governing body until now.
The sport has a bit of a back end here as although there are three different disciplines (bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing), only one set of medals for both men and women will be awarded. There will be 20 men and 20 women competing.
That will change in 2024 where speed climbing will become its own event while the other two are combined, but for now, it’s like asking a 100-meter sprinter to have a third of his score based on the marathon. It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Look what the Beach Boys have finally done. There will be 20 men and 20 women competing at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, and they will start in heats of four for 20 to 35 minutes depending on the conditions. The best two waves are the only ones that matter, so competitors will try to do one lap as many times as possible.
Scores range from 1 to 10 with two decimal places, and of the five judges, the highest and lowest scores are rejected. The average of the other three is your score.