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    Surfing, Skateboarding, Climbing, Karate, Baseball, And Softball Will Be At The 2020 Olympics


    The International Olympic Committee announced Wednesday that five new sports would be added to the 2020 games in Tokyo.

    IOC approves 5 new sports for @tokyo2020 #baseball&softball #karate #skateboard, #sportsclimbing #surfing

    Surfing, skateboarding, karate, and sports climbing — as well as men's baseball and women's softball — will be added to the 2020 games.

    Shizuo Kambayashi / AP

    Currently, there are 28 Olympic sports. The addition of the five is the "most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history," an IOC statement said.

    The addition is expected to bring 474 new athletes to the games, with the IOC saying the mix of traditional and "youth-focused" sports are already popular in Japan.

    Robert F. Bukaty / AP

    In an IOC report, officials noted that baseball is Japan's No. 1 spectator sport, and the 2020 games can take advantage of existing world-class stadiums.

    Toru Takahashi / AP

    Japan is also the birthplace of karate, and the sport is popular among youth worldwide.

    Eugene Hoshiko / AP

    Climbing is also popular among younger audiences, the IOC said.

    Genaro C. Armas / AP

    "It would be the only sport where vertical ascent is the goal," the report said.

    Skateboarding was recommended for its popularity with both men and women. Athletes also bring a strong following on social media, the IOC noted.

    Georgios Kefalas / ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Surfing offers a number of positives for the IOC: young fans, top athletes from around the world, and a chance for spectators to hang out by the water.

    Felipe Dana / AP

    "Surfing has a unique and modern blend of sport performance, lifestyle, and youth culture," the IOC report said. "The world-class competition on the waves and the ‘beach festival’ atmosphere would add a whole new dimension to the Olympic Games."


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