Surfing and skateboarding have been added to the Olympics, and will feature in the 2020 Tokyo games. The IOC, who oversee all things Olympic, have now confirmed the long-held speculation that surfing and skateboarding, along with climbing, karate, baseball, and softball will all be a feature of the games in four years time.
The five sports were recommended by the organisers of the Tokyo games in July, when Mpora called their inclusion inevitable. That recommendation was confirmed yesterday, and the IOC describing them as “a dynamic and exciting package”.
Their inclusion has been thought of as an attempt by the Olympic organisers to capture a youth market for the Summer Games, just as the inclusion of freestyle snowboarding and skiing did for the Winter Games, when halfpipe was added for Nagano in 1998, followed by slopestyle 16 years later at Sochi.
We asked skateboarding legend Tony Hawk about his sport’s inclusion in the Olympic program. He suggested that “skating is more popular than most Olympic sports, both in terms of participation and excitement. The IOC need the youthful energy that snowboarding brings to their winter games introduced to their summer games. They don’t have anything that’s young like that. You know, they’re losing an audience, so I feel like skateboarding would fit right in.”