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IOC Adds 5 Sports To Tokyo 202 Olympics, Including Skateboarding

Gnarlier. Radder. Sicker.

04/08/2016 9:16 AM AEST | Updated August 4, 2016 09:17
Mohamed Azakir / Reuters
You'll need a thesaurus to understand the commentary.

It's all about the kids. The International Olympic Committee knows it won't win new friends and influence younger people by stacking on more old-school sports, so it has gone and added four extremely cool new sports to the Olympic program, beginning with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The new sports are surfing, skateboarding, sports climbing and karate, and the IOC also brought back baseball and softball, which were kicked out of the Olympics after Beijing 2008. Counting softball/baseball as one (which the IOC does), there'll be five new sports in Tokyo, which will mean an extra 18 events and 474 athletes.

Surfing and skateboarding will bring the action sports cool to the Summer Games that the Winter Games introduced first introduced way back in 1998 -- ironically at another Japanese Olympics, in the snowy city of Nagano.

The only current Summer Olympics event classified as an "action sport" is BMX cycling, and it has proved a hugely popular addition since its Beijing debut.

But while your parents (and OK, possibly you) cant get enough of the gymnastics at the Summer Games and the figure skating at the Winter Olympics, a younger generation of TV viewers craves something with baggier clothing, cooler tricks and a more modern lingo.

Or as IOC president Thomas Bach put it:

"We want to take sport to the youth. With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them".

The sport that will be a mystery to most people is sport climbing. The IOC described it as the only sport where "vertical ascent is the goal", which kind of makes a mockery of its old "Faster. Higher. Stronger" motto. Anyway, here's a quick glimpse of what it looks like.

So now there'll be 33 Olympic sports, which will be the most ever at an Olympic Games. Twenty-six sports were contested at London, but the addition of golf and rugby brought that figure to 28 in Rio.

The big question is whether skateboards will be banned to the public at the Olympic Park complex in Tokyo.

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