For many people, sports like karate, rock climbing and skateboarding are leisure activities that draw people in because of their daredevil charms. For people who think skateboarding is for pierced, tattooed and hooded teenagers gathering under a graffiti-riddled bridge and not for elite athletes interested in competing at the very pinnacle of world sports, it is time to rethink their outlook. This is because skateboarding has become one of five new sports that the IOC or International Olympic Committee has added to the next Summer Games that will take place at Tokyo in 2020, along with surfing, karate, baseball/softball and sports climbing.
The vote has been described as a complete evolution of the modern Olympic programme. While there will be no chances to the original 28 events set to take place in Tokyo, 18 events and 474 participating athletes will be added to the event schedule. The move is seen as a way to get the younger athlete generation interested in the Olympics. The president of the IOC, Thomas Bach states that with the inclusion of these five new sports (though baseball has been occasionally included in the Olympics) young people are given more options to participate in sports they may find more appealing.
The proposal for the five sports was forwarded to the committee in July where it received a unanimously positive vote. Yoshiro Mori, president for the Tokyo 2020 Games says these inclusions will allow young athletes a once in a lifetime experience of competing in the Olympic Games which is obviously the world’s biggest sporting event and inspire them to do their very best in sports and in daily life. The news hasn’t been received well by everyone. Many critics claim that squash and netball deserve more of a chance and the inclusion of skateboarding has been deemed “silly”. However, the new inclusions give hope to 474 new athletes and for some people, that is all that matters.