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  • Skateboarding, climbing, surfing, and karate will be introduced, as the IOC said it was seeking to embrace youth culture.

    Skateboarding, climbing, surfing, and karate will be introduced, as the IOC said it was seeking to embrace youth culture. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 July 2019

Four new sports will make their debut at next year’s Olympic Games, and two others will make their come-back.

As the clock that counts down to the Olympics was unveiled Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan to mark exactly one year until the start of the opening ceremony, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that four new sports will be featured in Tokyo 2020.

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Skateboarding, climbing, surfing, and karate will make their debut at the world-renowned competition, with the IOC stating it is working towards being more inclusive of youth culture.

IOC also stated that baseball and softball will return, after a 12-year hiatus.

Karate was endorsed to make its first Olympic appearance at its very birthplace - Japan. 

The skateboarding scene, which emerged out of a southern California culture decades ago, “leads the world in terms of socially connected and technologically savvy young participants,” said International Skateboarding Federation President Gary Ream, welcoming the action sport’s introduction into the Olympics. 

Four gold medals will be disputed across two disciplines: park and street. 

In addition, the Olympic surfing competition will take place 65 km outside Tokyo at Shidashita Beach. It will play out over two days and each race will last 20 to 25 minutes, with the top two continuing to the next round. In total, 20 men and 20 women are expected to line up to compete.

Finally, climbing will consist of three disciplines: bouldering, lead climbing, and speed climbing. 

In speed climbing, two climbers go head to head in a race to the top of a 15 meter wall up a fixed route. In lead climbing, they aim to reach as high as they can during an allotted time. In bouldering, competitors tackle set routes on a climbing wall. 

Four years after the Games took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Japanese capital will be Olympics’ newest host.

However, the perspective of next years’ Olympic Games doesn’t suit everyone as more than a hundred protesters marched in central Tokyo to protest them Wednesday.

Demonstrators said the Olympics should be banned across the world as they believe it causes more harm, such as poverty and environmental damage, than good.

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