The Olympics introduces six new sports


Courtesy of

Shaina Kaprow, Staff Reporter

The Olympics in Tokyo 2020 was full of many exciting events and showcased amazing athletes including some from six newly introduced sports. These sports are baseball/softball, 3×3 basketball, sport climbing, karate, skateboarding, and surfing. 


The first of the new sports introduced would be baseball and softball. It is played with the same rules found in major leagues and has medals for both categories. Since baseball/softball is most popular in the Americas and Asia, Japan taking both gold medals and the United States taking both silver was a predictable result. Canada took the bronze for Softball while the Dominican Republic took the baseball bronze. 


When playing 3×3 Basketball the game takes place on a court that is half of the size of a normal game, and it only contains one goal rather than the more commonly seen two. The smaller court size, and the lower amount of players makes this sport extremely fast paced. It also requires the players to be more versatile, or be able to perform multiple roles, on the court. Latvia took the gold for the men’s division while the United States took the gold for the women’s division. The Russian Olympic Committee took both silver medals, and China took the women’s bronze while Serbia won the men’s bronze.  


Sports climbing has three main parts which are speed, bouldering, and lead. Speed, as the name suggests, is focused on two athletes trying to scale a 15 meter, which is an approximately 16.5 yard, wall as fast as possible in order to win. The second part is bouldering where athletes have four minutes to climb as many pre-planned routes as possible. In order to complete a route, the climber must put both hands on the final hold, after which they can jump down from the 4.5 meter or 5 yard wall and can begin another route.


 According to the official Olympics website, the climbers will face “some holds so small that they can only be held by the fingertips.” This will continue to challenge the athletes especially since they do all of this section without a harness. Lead follows bouldering and it gives the athletes six minutes to get as high as possible as quickly as they can, but if a climber falls from the 15 meter wall then they will not get the chance to reclimb and will instead get the score of where they fell from. They are also prevented from seeing the course ahead of time and are not allowed to see how others do. 


The women’s combined scores resulted in Slovenia winning the gold while Japan took the silver and bronze. The results of the men’s division had Spain winning the gold, the United States taking the silver, and Austria earning bronze. 


Karate has two main parts which are kata (forms) and kumite (sparring). In kata athletes must demonstrate forms on a virtual opponent while using graceful yet powerful movements to truly express the techniques. In kumite, competitors try to land attacks on their opponent in predetermined spots in order to earn points. They are racing against each other and the clock with only three minutes of time to try and score points. Kumite has various weight groups similar to wrestling and because of that has multiple winners. In the men’s kumite, France, Italy, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all won gold while Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Sudi Arabia won silver. Jordan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Hungary, and Ukraine won the bronze for this category. In the women’s kumite Bulgaria, Serbia, and Egypt won gold, and Ukraine, China, and Azerbaijan won the silver, and Egypt, China, Austria, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, and Kazakhstan won bronze. In men’s kata Japan won gold, Spain took silver, while Turkey and the United States won bronze. In the women’s kata Spain took gold, Japan got silver, and Hong Kong, China and Italy won bronze. 


Skateboarding has two main parts- street and park. Street is meant to mimic an actual street and includes different rails, stairs, and curved sides, while park is similar to a skate park with it’s curved bowl-like sides. In men’s street Japan won gold, Brazil won Silver, and the United States took bronze, while in men’s park Australia won gold, Brazil won silver, and the United States won bronze. In the women’s street Japan won both gold and bronze while Brazil took silver, and in the women’s park Japan won gold and silver while Great Britain took bronze.


In surfing the athletes are given a maximum of 25 waves and the two highest scores are combined for a total score. Since waves can be very diverse there is a wide criteria for scoring. This includes the maneuvers, speed, power, and flow. In the men’s category Brazil won gold, Japan won silver, and Australia took bronze while in the women’s category the United States won gold, South Africa took silver, and Japan won bronze.


Overall the new sports added more challenges, entertainment, and interest for the viewers watching, as well as allowed more amazing athletes to demonstrate their skills for the world in an amazing demonstration of years of hard work.