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Skateboarding, Surfing, Baseball & More Are Now Officially Olympic Sports

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has ruled five sports to join the extensive list of events that define the Olympic games. Skateboarding, surfing, karate, sports climbing and baseball/softball have officially become a part of the Olympics, which continues to evolve for modern times, with unanimous approval. Each will have their own categories starting with the upcoming Tokyo 2020 summer games.

“We want to take sport to the youth,” said IOC President Thomas Bach; “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. Tokyo 2020’s balanced proposal fulfils all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.” Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori also praised, “The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realise their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games – the world’s greatest sporting stage – and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life.”

The new developments will see 18 new events with 474 athletes (in equal numbers for men and women with the exception of baseball/softball) including 80 skaters to be incorporated in plans for Tokyo 2020. IOC Executive Board discussions finalizing the new additions are to run until mid-2017.

What other sports would you like to see included in future Olympic programs?

PHOTOGRAPHER MARK KOHLMAN