While meeting today in Rio, the International Olympic Committee officially adopted recommendations to add, or bring back, five* sports to the schedule of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The IOC framed the decision as part of an effort to help the Olympics appeal to a younger demographic.
Baseball, a popular sport in Japan, will return to the Olympic schedule in 2020 for the first time since 2008. It has experienced a two-quad hiatus from the Games, prompted partially by the fact that the Summer Olympics occur in the middle of Major League Baseball season, so few of the sports’ biggest names appeared in the Olympics. Softball will also be added back for Tokyo after similarly not being included in 2012 and 2016.
Skateboarding and sports climbing will be part of the Olympic program for the first time. The IOC’ characterized these two sports’ inclusion as part of an effort to bring “the Games to young people and reflecting the trend of urbanisation of sport.”
Karate and surfing will both also make their Olympic debuts in 2020 after long battles by their respective proponents to get them added into the schedule.
These sports will collectively add 18 events and 474 athletes to the Tokyo schedule, but will not affect existing athlete quotas for other sports. This means, for instance, that the number of swimming events and swimmers allowed should not be adversely affected due to these new sports.
There is a no guarantee that these sports will be retained for the 2024 Olympics, wherever those might be.
*Note: The IOC officially counts baseball and softball as one sport.
You can the full news release here.