It has been an amazing year for sport
in Japan. After successfully hosting the Rugby
World Cup in 2019, the Land of the Rising Sun prepares to host yet another Olympic Games. For the second time in history, the best athletes from around the world will travel to Tokyo as they go for gold on the biggest stage of them all.
If the four-year wait wasn’t long enough to have you bouncing around in excitement, then maybe the inclusion of four new events will. In addition to track, field, gymnastics and swimming – these are the new Olympic events to get excited about.
Image source: olympic.org
It seems as though the sport of karate has come full circle. Having originated in Okinawa, the sport makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo this year and will consist of two disciplines – kata (forms) and kumite (sparring).
In kata, the athletes display different offensive and defensive movements and are judged based on (among other things) rhythm, speed, strength and balance.
In kumite, two opponents from the same weight class face off in designated area for three minutes. They athletes attempt to score points by landing well-executed strikes, kicks and punches to various target areas on their opponent’s body. The athlete with the highest number of points, or the first to achieve an eight-point lead, is declared the winner.
Image source: rollingstone.com
The sport of skateboarding has exploded all around the world, but is especially popular in the United States. In its debut at the 2020 Olympic Games, there will be two events for the men and women.
The first is the street event which takes place on a course that is designed to replicate skateboarding on the streets. It is made up of stairs, ramps and rails and athletes score points based on the difficulty of their tricks, speed, height and originality. They are given three timed runs with their highest scoring counting.
The second event is the park event which takes place on a bowl-like course. Using the course to build momentum, the skaters attempt to amass as many points as possible by performing tricks. Once again they are scored based on their speed, the difficulty of their tricks and how original the tricks are.
Image source: redbull.com
A less popular – but still exciting – sport making its first appearance at the Olympic Games this year is rock climbing. Categorised as sport climbing
the men’s and women’s events will be broken into three disciplines.
Speed climbing will see two climbers going head-to-head as they race each other up a 15-meter high wall. The athlete who reaches the top first is declared the winner.
Bouldering involves the climbers attempting to ascend as many fixed routes on a four-meter high wall as they can in four minutes. Unlike the speed climb, the athletes won’t be allowed to use any safety ropes in the bouldering event.
The third climbing event is called lead climbing
and requires the climbers to climb as high as possible on a 15-meter high wall in six minutes. If two athletes manage to reach the same height, they will be separated based on time.
Image source: surfertoday.com
It seems surreal that it has taken so long for surfing to be included in the Olympic Games. As one of the oldest and most exciting sports to watch, it’s about time it found its place on the biggest stage in the world.
In the surfing event, four athletes will compete at the same time in a 20 to 25 minute heat. During that time, only one surfer can ride a wave at any given time, but all it takes is one wave. The athletes won’t be judged based on how many waves they catch, but rather on how difficult their manoeuvres are.
The most exciting part of watch the Olympic Games is seeing athletes smash World and Olympic records, with these four new events being introduced we’re guaranteed to see some amazing feats whether it be at the top of the climbing wall or in the depths of the ocean.
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