28 Jul 2016
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today released a report by its Olympic Programme Commission evaluating the proposal to include five new sports at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 proposed the five new sports — baseball/softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing — in response to the new flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, to encourage innovation in the Olympic programme.
The IOC Session will make the final decision on the five sports in Rio de Janeiro on 3 August. If approved, the change would be the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history.
In its report to IOC members, the Olympic Programme Commission concluded that, taken together, the five sports are “a dynamic and exciting package” that “encompasses both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally.”
The Commission considered a variety of factors in assessing the proposal, including the impact on gender equality, the youth appeal of the sports and the legacy value of adding them to the Tokyo Games. The inclusion of the new sports would add 18 events and 474 athletes, with equal numbers of women and men for all sports except baseball/softball, because softball teams have 15 players, whilst baseball teams have 24.
Adding the new sports in Tokyo would not impact existing Olympic sports or be binding on future host cities.
The decision on the sports package by the IOC Session will be the culmination of a two-year process that began with the unanimous approval of Olympic Agenda 2020 in 2014. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee submitted its proposal for the five new sports to the IOC in September 2015.
Following the Olympic Programme Commission’s analysis and review, the IOC Executive Board reviewed the proposal and submitted the full package to the IOC Session.
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.