Tokyo 2020 given timeline to propose new sports
6 February 2015
TOKYO: The race is on to see what new sports will be competing at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo with the IOC unveiling a timetable for the Japanese hosts.
With Tokyo afforded the opportunity to propose new events the different sports are beating a path to the Organising Committee’s door hoping to win a place on the Olympic program.
Tokyo 2020 has formed a new committee called the “Additional Event Program Panel” to look at their proposals. They will hold their first meeting next week.
At a two-day project review with officials of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the President of Tokyo 2020 Yoshiro Mori confirmed “sporting federations are knocking on his door”.
Baseball, softball, karate and squash have been the most talked about contenders in Japan.
Tokyo 2020 officials must present their plan for new events to the IOC Program Commission and the IOC Executive Board by September for consideration. The introduction of any new sports will need to be presented to the IOC members at their meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“Tokyo has its wish list and the timeline is fine for us," Mori, the former Japanese Prime Minister, said. “We have already consulted with a number of (sports) federations”.
John Coates, Chairman of the IOC Co-ordination Commission for Tokyo 2020, said “the whole world is looking at this process, not just the people of Japan. Many sports are interested and this is going to be a very transparent process”.
Coates stressed that future events and sports on the Olympic program “must be attractive to youth”.
“Universality and gender equality are key in selecting new sports or events but the IOC will also consider an up and coming sport that is gaining in popularity especially with youth," he said.
Skateboarding is one sport in the running because of its youth involvement and growth around the globe. It is also a dramatic action sport, ideal for television. Other sports include surfing, wushu and rock climbing.
The size of the Olympic Games is currently limited to 10,500 athletes. Under Olympic Agenda 2020, approved at the IOC Session in Monaco last December, the number of Olympic events could increase from 302 events in London 2012 to a maximum of 310 events in Tokyo.
The events to be proposed by Tokyo are in addition to those eight events which would see a dramatic change in the makeup of the Games.
Two sports, golf and rugby 7’s, have been added to the program at next year’s RIO Olympics. The inclusion of extra sports for Tokyo 2020 would be at the cost of the host city.
Coates, an IOC Vice President and President of the Australian Olympic Committee, sent his condolences to the families of the two Japanese hostages executed by terrorists in the Middle East.
Answering a question from a journalist about security at the 2020 Games, Coates said “security is very important, if not the most important consideration for the Olympic Games. I send my condolences to the families of the hostages killed and I have the upmost faith and respect in the Government of Japan in dealing with all security issues. We will focus on those issues right through to the conclusion of the 2020 Games."
AOC in Tokyo