The Olympics are finally back! Taking place in Rio this year, the opening ceremony for the Olympics was on August 8, 2016. We have been waiting four years for the summer Olympics to roll around again, picking our favorite competitors on the teams and seeing the wide variety of 30+ sports. While many find it hard to keep track of all the sports and the times the competitions are occurring, they're going to have a more difficult time with that come 2020 when five more sports are added to the Olympics.
On the August 3, 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed to add softball, baseball, skateboarding, karate, sports climbing and surfing for the Tokyo Olympic games in 2020. This is to try and attract a younger audience to watch the Olympics. In the press release found on the Olympic website, the IOC states,
"Today’s vote was the culmination of a two-year process that began with the unanimous approval of the IOC’s strategic roadmap in 2014. The recommendation to give Organising Committees the flexibility to propose new sports for their edition of the Games was intended to put even more focus on innovation, flexibility and youth in the development Olympic programme".
Tokyo 2020 submitted the proposal almost a whole year ago, all the way back in September, 2015. They were also the first Organising Committee that took advantage of the opportunity to submit requests. Thomas Bach IOC President, stated
With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them.
For those who can't remember, softball and baseball were once in the Olympics almost 10 years ago. They were both removed from the Olympics in 2008 due to many different reasons. Since then, lovers of the two sports have been campaigning very hard to try and get the two sports back in the Olympics.
“The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realize their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games – the world's greatest sporting stage – and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life.”
This is a quote from Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori, who believes that adding the new sports is the best for the countries and the people around the world. A lot of qualities went into the decision of adding the sports such as gender equality, youth appeal, and the legacy value.
While it is good to see some old sports return and new ones emerge, we still have to wait four years for the games to actually begin.