It’s nearly official: Surfing will join skateboarding, karate, baseball / softball, and sports climbing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, according to recent news. The International Olympic Committee approved the five additions in what’s being called “the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic program in modern history,” and all that’s left, it appears, is for the IOC to sign off as a group during the next major session, which is right before Rio’s opening ceremony.
The details are still fuzzy apart from the logistics of the games: 18 new events will be added, and 474 new athletes will compete. Other than that, how the committee will implement each sport is a bit vague. Reports are circulating that the IOC wants to hold competition in the ocean, though Kelly’s Wave technology, or something similar, could well be the eventual modus operandi for an attempt at objectively judged surf events.
Here’s a reported statement from the IOC:
“They [the five additions] represent a combination of well-established and emerging sports with significant popularity in Japan and beyond…They include team sports and individual sports; indoor sports and outdoor sports; and ‘urban’ sports with a strong appeal to youth. The package promotes gender equality, with each of the five sports having equal numbers of teams for men and women, while also focusing on innovative and exciting sports for Japan and the wider international community.”