IOC Adds Skateboarding, Surfing, and Other New Sports for 2020

by Robert Gibbs 20

August 03rd, 2016 International, News

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.

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Captain Ahab
6 years ago

Please no more subjective or objective sports.

6 years ago

I hope softball is more competitive than it was previously. I seem to remember some very embarrassing routs.

6 years ago

How about Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2? I’ll definitely qualify.

Reply to  Brentimir
6 years ago

Top Gun. Daddy’s group.

6 years ago


6 years ago

Don’t even think about drug testing a majority of skateboarders lol

bobo gigi
6 years ago

Another pathetic decision from IOC. And once again just for TV audiences of a few countries.
USOC must be happy. Americans are very strong in most of the added sports. But please, surfing? How many countries play baseball or softball?
France will be very happy with karate.
Skateboarding! They confuse olympic games with x games now.
Yes, next step is MMA instead of wrestling.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

You clearly don’t know anything about sports because all of these new added events require their athletes to train consistently and go through a similar path as any other olympic athlete. And yes, they should add MMA, but not take away wrestling.

Caeleb Dressel for Gold in Rio
Reply to  STC
6 years ago

You clearly don’t know anything about the tradition of the Olympic Games

Reply to  Caeleb Dressel for Gold in Rio
6 years ago

Inform yourself, please, before you make any other rebutles.
The only thing a sport has to do today to enter the Olympics is to meet the olympic critera, which they clearly do. You’re welcome.

Reply to  STC
6 years ago

But can´t get why Futsal and Beach Soccer are still not on the OG, Both are worldwide sports and why such “Amazing and excting” sports like Golf are in.. Also can´t get much of climbing.. how would that qualify?

And Surfing would be on the sea or will they build a “surfing pool” which is a little ridiculous.. But for Brazil having Surf and Skateboarding would be a medal boost..

Also about Baseball.. I´ve tried to watch but could never get how a sport that may last hours without hapenning anything is such a hit..

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  STC
6 years ago

Totally agree. Bobo’s lack of sports knowledge is shining through in his comment here.

Cynthia mae Curran
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Surfing BoBo GIGi, maybe they will have Gidget and Moon doggie. The main characters of the Gidget movie and TV series, That date’s me.

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Bobo, just because you don’t play sport and don’t know anything about surfing and just because France sucks at surfing does not mean surfing doesn’t deserve to be in the Olympics. At least it deserves more than many of the current Olympics sports.

King in da norf
Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

I just love your French snobbery, Bobo!

Yayy to all euro-centric “sports” like modern pentathlon, rhythmic gymnastics, equestrian, fencing, but Nayy to sports that are very popular in many countries outside europe or France.

6 years ago


6 years ago

How about the womens’ 1500m freestyle?

Reply to  Barry
6 years ago

Not to mention 50fl/bk/br. It’s about damn time that happened.

Reply to  MTK
6 years ago

Both of those suggestions would be cool, but then there would be 32 events (if the W 800 is switched for the mile, 34 if men get the 800 added and women get the 1500 added). Swimming would take forever, which I’m mostly cool with, but it would draw a lot of complaints for changing the flow of the games. Additionally, the final medal count would be weighted even more in favor of nations with strong swim programs, which is great as an American, but not worth the trouble. And not to say the 50’s don’t require tons of skill, work, and planning, but I think the 50 free is sufficient to establish the fastest swimmer in the world, no… Read more »

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