Next year will once again be a big one for sports fans – the year of the next Summer Olympics. This time, the Olympic flame that will be lit in Olympia, Greece, next March, will travel to Tokyo; (after making a stop in Fukushima) to signal the beginning of the 32nd edition of the modern-day Olympics.
Next year’s event will be special because Tokyo is the first Asian city to host the Olympics twice; but also because it will introduce new sports into the roster. Although many have hoped, eSports and Match Poker did not receive the status of Olympic sports until now.
If it’s any consolation; you can follow the odds of the former at Betway and the latter at the many live competitions. Here are, in turn; the five new sports added to the roster at the 2020 Summer Olympics that will certainly spice up the event.
Skateboarding may seem like a kids’ pastime… until you see what some professionals can do. It may come as a surprise to some but skateboarding is an actual sport, with its own high-level governing body; the World Skateboarding Federation – and its top-level tournament, the World Skateboarding Championship.
The current world champions of the sport are American skateboarder Heimana Reynolds (men) and Japanese skater Misugu Okamoto (women). Tokyo 2020 will feature two disciplines of the sport – Park and Street Skateboarding. The first one involves planks, halfpipes, and ramps; the second will replicate an urban environment (complete with its “natural” obstacles) to test the skills of the competitors.
Rock climbing is a sport that’s not for the faint of heart; and even its indoor version requires superior fitness and skill. In short, it’s hard enough to qualify as an Olympic sport. Tokyo 2020 will be the first to feature it. Of course, it would be hard to put an actual rock wall in the middle of a stadium in Tokyo. So, the competitors will climb artificial walls – this won’t make their job any easier, though.
They will compete in three disciplines: bouldering (a more technical form of the sport, with no ropes); lead climbing (climbing a designated route, involves a rope), and speed climbing, which has a pretty descriptive name.
Baseball and Softball
Baseball and softball are a predominantly American sport but it’s popular in other countries, too. Japan is one of them. This is probably why it was chosen as one of the new sports to be featured at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Baseball will be played by men at the Olympics, and softball, by women.
Surfing needs no introduction. It is a sport associated with freedom, skill, and a nomadic lifestyle following the waves across the beaches of the world. The Olympic surfing event – where judges will evaluate the surfers’ skill and the beauty of their manoeuvres – will not be organized in the stadium. Instead, it will be held at the Shidshita Beach just outside Tokyo; where the competitors will face real waves instead of artificial ones.
Finally, a traditional Japanese sport finding its way to the Olympics. It is a surprise for it to join the ranks of the many other martial arts – including judo, tae-kwon-do, and boxing – so late. Athletes from all over the world will compete in two disciplines – Kata and Kumite.
The former is the “form” discipline, where the athletes will have the chance to show how much they master the sport’s characteristic moves; while the latter is the sparring itself, where karateka will fight each other in three weight categories.