The New Sports of the Tokyo 2020 Games - By Elizabeth Jeneault
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The New Sports of the
Tokyo 2020 Games

By Elizabeth Jeneault for The J-Pop Exchange

Every four years new sports are added to the Olympic Games, while others are retired. With the 2020 Olympics now less than a year away, it’s the perfect time to learn about the new sports that will be making their official debut. Plus, others are making a comeback!

The International Olympic Committee approved surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, and karate as new additions to the 2020 Games. Also making a comeback after a 12-year hiatus is men’s baseball and women’s softball.

Nearly 500 more athletes are taking part in the 2020 Olympics thanks to the new additions. They’ll be participating across 18 total new events. Continue reading below for more about each of these exciting sports!


Surfing is something people are especially excited to see on the Olympic stage. Competitors will throw down on Shidashita Beach, which is located about 40 miles outside of Tokyo. There were discussions about having the events take place in a wave pool, but the beach was ultimately chosen. There will be both men’s and women’s categories.

The timing of the events will remain up in the air. Organizers need to pay close attention to the weather to see when conditions will be most ideal to hold the competition. There will be a 16-day window for the events to take place and it will take two days to complete once conditions are good enough to start.

Sport Climbing

Sport climbing is a form of rock climbing and the new events will be held on artificial climbing walls! There are three different forms of climbing: bouldering, lead climbing, and speed climbing.

Speed climbing is particularly fun to watch. Two athletes race each other to the top of a 15-meter high wall!

Competitors must compete well in all three events, though, in order to increase their chance of taking home a medal.


Judo was first introduced in the 1964 Tokyo Games and the venue built for that competition will now host more new martial arts events. New karate events will take place inside the Nippon Budokan.

Two disciplines of karate will be featured at the 2020 Games. Kumite is the sparring discipline and there will be three different weight classes, with categories for men and women. Kata is the form discipline and there will be one event each for men and women.

Other martial arts events already part of the Olympic lineup include judo, boxing, wrestling, and tae kwon do.


Also making its official Olympic debut in 2020 will be skateboarding! There will be park and street competitions for both men and women. The street event will feature ramps, rails, boxes, and other obstacles that athletes will use to show off their best moves.

This is a sport experts believe Team USA will excel in, so be sure to keep a close eye on these new events!

Men’s Baseball/Women’s Softball

An honorable mention when it comes to new sports for the 2020 Games goes to men’s baseball and women’s softball. After a 12-year Olympic absence, baseball and softball are making a comeback!

Team USA won gold in softball three times before Japan edged out the U.S. in 2008, the last time the sport was included in the Olympics. Baseball has been included on and off since 1904.

The 2020 Summer Olympics begin on July 24.

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