Skateboarding Is Now Officially an Olympic Sport

Posted August 06, 2016

The International Olympic Committee also added softball, karate, and sports climbing to the program for Tokyo 2020.

If you think skateboarding is a pursuit for hooded teenagers congregating under a bridge and so not interested in reaching the pinnacle of world sport, it's time to think again.

Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee CEO, Toshiro Muto, underscoring his team's belief in the future success of the new sports, outlined their myriad benefits, as local media here reported. Wednesday's approval was for the Tokyo Games only.

The decision is another vote of confidence for IOC president Thomas Bach's "Olympic Agenda 2020" plan to freshen up the Games and keep them relevant for younger audiences. "I know many people will expect to me win the gold medal, but for now, I just want to enjoy the sport, not thinking about medals". "This is really exciting for us, and something we've been waiting for since the day they took the sport out of the Olympics". The new sports will officially add 18 events and 474 athletes to the Tokyo games.

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Karate, surfing, skateboarding and sports climbing have never before been included in the Olympics, although baseball and softball have both made appearances as recently as Beijing 2008.

It's the news felt in skate communities around the world; the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will undoubtedly include skateboarding as an official competition.

One of the most popular foreigners to play in Japan, Cromartie spent seven seasons with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants from 1984-90 after nine seasons in Major League Baseball with the Montreal Expos.

Baseball and softball, proposed to be staged in Yokohama, will each have a competition involving six teams.

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Other sports like basketball and boxing were added in subsequent years, but by the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea, far more obscure sports like synchronized swimming, taekwondo and rhythmic gymnastics were on the Olympic docket, decades before golf and rugby would return.

Men's baseball was a full part of the Olympic program from 1992 to 2008, with women's softball joining in 1996.

The inclusion of surfing us seen as a massive leap forward for a sport that has tended to remain on the fringes of the athletic world.

Righteous! The world's best skateboarders and surfers will be packing up their boards and heading for Tokyo, come 2020, when those sports - and more - are added to the Olympics. "They need skateboarding more than we need them".

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