What are the five new sports making their debut at the 2021 Olympics?
Five new Olympic sports debut at Tokyo 2021 this summer: surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, karate and men’s baseball / women’s softball.
At each Olympiad, the program of the contested sporting events changes somewhat. The International Olympic Committee takes many factors into account when considering which sports to include in the world‘s greatest spectacle.
Factors such as the impact on gender equality, attractiveness to young people and the overall legacy of a sport’s inclusion in the Games are important in decision-making, as are logistical considerations such as the number of additional athletes and facility requirements. Of course, we all know the IOC cares about its bottom line, so commercial attractiveness and sponsorship interest matters too.
As for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, five new sports are on the program. Let’s take a look at the new sports you can watch during the 2021 Olympics.
1. Karate to debut at the 2021 Olympics
It’s okay for karate to be included in the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, right? The word itself is actually a combination of two Japanese terms – “kara” (void) and “te” (hand) – reflecting unarmed melee combat. Karate dates back hundreds of years and has its origins in Okinawa, Japan, but this is the first (and perhaps the only) time it will be played at the Olympic level.
Karate was included specifically for Tokyo, instead of becoming a permanent Olympic sport. A total of 80 athletes will compete in two styles: kata (forms) and kumite (sparring). The kata is practiced alone, where the athlete must demonstrate a series of offensive and defensive movements. In kumite, two athletes compete against each other using three techniques: kicks, punches and punches. Kumite will have three weight classes each for men and women, while kata will have only one men’s event and one female event.