The International Olympic Committee (IOC) met on August 3, 2016 for its 129th IOC Session in Rio to discuss the future of the games, adding five new sports to the Olympic program, including baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing and surfing.
The new sports will be included in the 2020 Tokyo games.
The expansion was reportedly a push to attract younger viewers and reflect the popularity of sport urbanization. “We want to take sport to the youth,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect anymore that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them.”
According to the IOC, the Organizing Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Games proposed the five new sports in response to the new flexibility provided by Olympic Agenda 2020. Two years ago, the IOC voted unanimously to allow organizing committees to propose the inclusion of new sports in the name of promoting innovation and youth development.
The Tokyo Committee was the first to be able to take advantage of the new rule. It submitted a proposal for including the five new sports in the fall of 2015.
According to the IOC, the inclusion of the new 2020 sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes.