IOC approves five new sports for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. (2016, August 03). Retrieved August 03, 2016, from https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-approves-five-new-sports-for-olympic-games-tokyo-2020
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today agreed to add baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing to the sports programme for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The decision by the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro was the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history. Plans call for staging the skateboarding and sports climbing events in temporary venues installed in urban settings, marking a historic step in bringing the Games to young people and reflecting the trend of urbanisation of sport.
The Organising Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Games proposed the five new sports in response to the new flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020.
Today’s vote was the culmination of a two-year process that began with the unanimous approval of the IOC’s strategic roadmap in 2014. The recommendation to give Organising Committees the flexibility to propose new sports for their edition of the Games was intended to put even more focus on innovation, flexibility and youth in the development Olympic programme.
Tokyo 2020, the first Organising Committee able to take advantage of the change, submitted its proposal for the five new sports to the IOC in September 2015.
IOC President Thomas Bach said, “We want to take sport to the youth. With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them. Tokyo 2020’s balanced proposal fulfils all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said, “The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realise their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games – the world's greatest sporting stage – and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life.”
The additional sports in Tokyo will not impact the athlete or event quotas of existing Olympic sports or be binding on future host cities. The current athlete and event quotas are unaffected.
The IOC considered a variety of factors when assessing the proposal, including the impact on gender equality, the youth appeal of the sports and the legacy value of adding them to the Tokyo Games.
The inclusion of the new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes, with equal numbers of women and men for all sports except baseball/softball, which will have the same number of teams but different player totals, because softball teams have 15 players whilst baseball teams have 24. Tokyo 2020 will rely heavily on existing and temporary venues to stage the competitions.
Discussions on the event programme in the existing 28 Olympic sports for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are ongoing, and will be finalised by the IOC Executive Board in mid-2017.
About National Pro Fastpitch:
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.