Four brand new sports will be debuting at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, which will be held from July 23rd to August 8, 2021. Sport climbing, karate, skateboarding, and surfing will all be making their debuts. Each sport will feature men’s and women’s categories. On top of that, softball and baseball will be returning since they were last played at the 2008 Olympics.
The new sports debuting this year are making fans very excited. Skateboarding and surfing have been very popular for years thanks to the X Games. Karate is a national pastime and one of the most popular sports in Japan. Sport climbing is a unique sport that is exciting for both athletes and fans. Fans have been eagerly waiting for baseball and softball to return to the Olympics, but the inclusion of all these sports is likely temporary.
5. Baseball and Softball
Baseball may be America’s pastime, but the sport is also incredibly popular in Japan. Japan even has its own professional baseball league. Baseball at the Tokyo Summer Olympics is a men's only event. Women will compete in softball, which is played with a larger ball and underhand method of pitching.
Baseball and softball were previously played at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Both sports were absent from the subsequent Olympic Games in 2012. The return of baseball and softball to the Olympics has many people excited, but baseball and softball are only temporarily being included for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The sports are currently not on the shortlist for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.
4. Sport Climbing
There will three different styles of sport climbing showcased at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Speed climbing is a head-to-head match where competing racers see who can ascend up a rock wall the fastest. Lead climbing is a timed event where competitors are ranked on speed or the highest position before falling. Athletes competing in the bouldering event are tasked with climbing a short but difficult section of rock wall without using a rope. The athletes are timed, and points are awarded based on the number of tries it takes to complete the course.
The sport was previously tested at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics, and so far it seems it will also be included in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Surfing is another extreme sport making its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Like skateboarding, surfing has been a mainstay at the X Games for many years. The men’s and women’s surfing events will be held at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach in Chiba Prefecture, which is about forty miles from Tokyo. Medals will be awarded based on scores from judges, who will award points based on the difficulty of the maneuvers. Olympic organizers chose to include surfing in the Olympics in an attempt to draw a younger audience. The United States, Brazil, and Australia are expected to do well in both the men's and women's surfing competitions.
It is fitting that karate is making its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Karate is a Japanese martial art that originated on the island of Okinawa. There will be a total of eight karate events. Kumite, which is the sparring class of karate, will consist of three different weight classes for both men and women. There will also be a men's and a women's kata karate event, which is a solo form of karate. A panel of judges will award points to athletes in the kata karate events based on form and style.
Skateboarding has skyrocketed in popularity ever since skateboarding legend Tony Hawk wowed audiences at the X Games. Skateboarding is finally making its Olympic debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Skateboarding events being held this year in Tokyo include men’s park, men’s street, women’s park, and women’s street. The street events feature obstacles that competitors can use to do grinds, flips, and other tricks. The park events feature a sunken dome that consists of half pipes and quarter pipes. Riders can attempt vertical tricks in the park events.