Marking the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history, the International Olympic Committee has made a decision to include five new sports for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, set to take place next year.
The addition of the new sports was taken by the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year. The five new sports are surfing, sports climbing, karate, skateboarding, and baseball/softball.
The addition of the five new sports to the Olympic programme will add 18 events and 474 athletes to the Games, and are aimed at taking into account sporting codes that are popular among the youth and reflect the trend of urbanisation in sport.
“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,” said IOC president, Thomas Bach.
Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori added, “The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realise their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games – the world’s greatest sporting stage – and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sports and in life.”
The new sports are the result of the approval of the IOC’s strategic roadmap in 2014, in which the recommendation was made to give Organising Committees the flexibility to propose new sports for their edition of the Olympic Games.
The Tokyo Organising Committee submitted its proposal for the five new sports to the IOC in September 2015.