This year’s Olympic Games will see the introduction of new disciplines. This is an opportunity to shine the Olympic spotlight on board sports, but not only on board sports. Here is an overview of the new Olympic sports.
Feet in the sand before riding the waves. Surfing, the ultimate board sport, is now an Olympic sport. Although the legend of the sport, Kelly Slater, failed to qualify for the Games, the new stars, such as the Brazilians Italo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina, the Americans Carissa Moore and Caroline Marks, and the Frenchwoman Pauline Ado, should make us dream.
Skateboarding is another sliding sport to make its Olympic debut. The competition will be divided into two disciplines: ramp and street (a course resembling an urban environment). While aficionados may be familiar with the names of the tricks and skateboarding champions, the rest of the world will discover them.
The very young Misugu Okamoto, the 14-year-old Japanese world champion, and Sky Brown, a 12-year-old from the United Kingdom, are likely to surprise the spectators. In the men’s competition, four-time world champion Nyjah Huston (26) from the USA is the favourite.
Let’s get vertical with the climbing, which will be divided into three events: difficulty, speed and wall climbing. A spectacular discipline, it could bring medals to the host country. The Czech Republic’s Adam Ondra is the favourite, but Japan’s Tomoa Narasaki also has a good chance. In the women’s event, the world’s best, Janja Garnbret (21) from Slovenia, will have to be wary of the experienced Japanese Akiyo Noguchi (31).
Here is a discipline that was made for these Japanese Olympics: Karate. Originating from the Okinawa archipelago (south-west of Japan), it is only fair for this multi-secular martial art. The competition is divided into two categories: kata (choreographed sequences) and kumite (combat). Three-time world champion Ryo Kiyuna from Japan will be one of the favourites.
American sport par excellence, it is the number one sport in Japan. Baseball is making a comeback, having last appeared in Beijing in 2008. For the competition, six nations will compete for the title: Japan (host country), South Korea (last Olympic champion), Mexico, Israel, Dominican Republic and of course the United States. It should be noted that one of the best nations in the world, Cuba, did not qualify for the Games.