The 2016 Rio Olympics may turn out to be a disaster of epic proportions, what with all the Zika, shoddy infrastructure, and poop water. Can’t forget about the poop water. But the Olympics will inevitably roll on.
The 2020 Games are scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan, and the International Olympic Committee just voted to add five sports as official medal competitions. But most of them suck. Baseball, softball, karate, skateboard, sports climbing, and surfing will all be added to the next Olympic lineup. If you’re thinking to yourself “hey, that’s actually six sports, you liar!”, you’re technically correct. But the IOC apparently views baseball (for the men) and softball (for the women) as basically the same thing.
The decision appears to be an attempt to capture the attention of youth audiences, who may tune in to watch the “hip” sports of surfing or skateboarding, but probably don’t care much for synchronized swimming or water polo.
IOC President Thomas Bach offered these comments on the new medal events:
“We want to take sport to the youth. With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them. Tokyo 2020’s balanced proposal fulfills all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”
Baseball and softball were part of the last Olympics in 2008, but were removed for some reason in 2012 and 2016. The sport is huge in Japan though, which was probably enough justification for the IOC to put them back for Tokyo.
The rest of those sports though? Meh. We are of the firm belief that any sport where the winner is decided by a judges score is, by definition, not a real competition. Karate sounds kind of cool, though.