Five new sports will feature at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, including skateboarding, surfing, and karate.
The announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also said that sport climbing would be introduced into the games, and that 2020 will see the return of baseball and softball to the Olympics.
The introduction of these new sports will not mean that other regular events will be sacrificed, the IOC said.
New sports in
Tokyo2020</a> Olympics:<br>- Baseball/Softball<br>- Karate<br>- Skateboarding<br>- Sports Climbing <br>- Surfing <a href="https://t.co/Fi3LULP3WH">pic.twitter.com/Fi3LULP3WH</a></p>— Spark Sports (Spark_Sports_) August 3, 2016
The decision to include street and park skateboarding in the line up over other roller sports has been seen as controversial due to the lack of a world championship event. However, International Skateboarding Federation president Gary Ream said that the appearance of skateboarding on the Olympic stage could “change the world”.
FADER (@thefader) August 4, 2016
After it featured last year as a demonstration sport in the international Youth Olympic Games in China, the IOC faced calls for climbing to become an official Olympic sport.
According to the International Federation of Sport Climbing, more than 140 countries have climbing walls, and there are currently 35 million climbers across the globe.
The inclusion of surfing us seen as a massive leap forward for a sport that has tended to remain on the fringes of the athletic world.
NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 4, 2016
Unlike fellow martial art Judo, which made its Olympic debut in 1964, Karate has never been included in the games.
The key difference between the two disciplines is the prevalence of grappling and throwing in Judo, and the focus on striking in Karate.
TeamUSA</a> for putting Karate in the Olympics! 🏅✊🏽🔋 The world will now see how great of athletes we are. <a href="https://t.co/w9WAp5ksQM">pic.twitter.com/w9WAp5ksQM</a></p>— Zach Winder (ZachSkipkick) August 4, 2016
Men’s baseball and women’s soft ball are hugely popular sports in Japan. The two sports featured separately in 1992 and 2008 respectively, and 2020 will make not only a return for the sports to the Olympic stage, but also the first time they have both been played at the same tournament.