When thinking of the summer Olympics, certain sports like track and field, swimming, and gymnastics instantly come to mind—probably because those are the events that Bob Costas talks about the most during primetime. They have heroes with household names like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Gabby Douglas, and Wheaties box–ready faces. Now, thanks to Japan’s official list of recommended sport additions for the 2020 Tokyo Games, a whole new crew of celebrated athletes might be included within the elite club of Olympic medalists and future Subway spokespeople.
Recently, the International Olympic Committee has been trying to give hosting cities more of a say in the games that they are presenting to the world. To work towards this appreciation of city individuality, the IOC has granted Tokyo the ability to suggest new sports to be temporarily added to the Olympic canon for 2020. The Japanese capital has fully embraced the chance to change the Games for the better, and has presented the IOC with their suggestions including bringing back baseball and softball, and introducing karate, surfing, skateboarding and “sport climbing.”
Tony Hawk—the only skateboarder that your parents can actually name—was thrilled to hear about the chance for his sport to be included in the 2020 Games: “It is exciting that skateboarding could possibly be included in the Olympics. This is not only a great opportunity for our sport and the skaters, but also for the Games.”
Now, while this is an exciting moment for younger sports fans and athletes, eager boarders shouldn’t start practicing for that gold medal just yet—the IOC will present the approved final list for the Tokyo games next August. And even if they are approved for 2020, each added sport must “campaign for permanent status” beyond Tokyo.
(via Los Angeles Times)