IOC board backs new sports for 2020 Olympic games

Jacques Rogge, IOC President.

•Jacques Rogge, IOC President.

•Jacques Rogge, IOC President.
The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has backed the proposal to add five new sports to the programme of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The proposal needs to be approved at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August.

The change, according to the IOC in a statement, will be the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history.

The five sports are karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, surfing and baseball/softball, and they offer a key focus on youth, which is at the heart of the Games vision for Tokyo 2020.

The sports are a combination of well-established and emerging sports with significant popularity in Japan and beyond.

“They are in both the team sports and individual sports categories, as well as indoor sports and outdoor sports, and they are regarded as `urban’ sports with a strong appeal to youths,’’ the statement indicated.

The package, which will now be submitted to the IOC Session, are considered on top of the athlete and event quota recommendations for Olympic sports outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020.

IOC assured that the five sports will not take places away from athletes in existing Olympic sports.

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“Discussions on the event programme in the existing 28 Olympic sports for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are ongoing, and will be finalised by the IOC Executive Board in mid-2017.

“The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 proposed the new sports in response to the new flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020, which is IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement.

“It is to encourage innovation in the Olympic programme,’’ the statement said.

The Olympic Agenda 2020 gives host cities the option of suggesting new sports and events for inclusion in their edition of the Games.

The host city selections are however not binding on future Games hosts.

The inclusion of the new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes to the Olympic programme in Tokyo, without impacting existing sports.

“The package promotes gender equality, with each of the five sports having equal numbers of teams for men and women, while also focusing on innovative and exciting sports for Japan and the wider international community,’’ the statement added.

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