Tokyo Wants Baseball To Return For 2020 Olympics, Plus Surfing, And … Bouldering?
When baseball was dropped from the 2012 Olympics in London, there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth -- especially in North America and Japan. Now it may come back, along with its kid sister, softball, to the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
The Tokyo Olympic Committee is proposing that those two sports, along with four others, be added to the list of competitions for The Games. The final decision is up to the International Olympic Committee, but if the host wants them, why would the IOC say no?
Together, the five sports would bring an additional 474 athletes to Tokyo. Here's the list of proposed events, along with the number of athletes:
Karate (Kata and Kumite): 80
Skateboard (Street and Park): 80
Sports Climbing (Bouldering, Lead and Speed Combined): 40
Surfing (Shortboard): 40
Wait. Bouldering? That's officially defined as: a form of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses.
Yikes. We assume that this would be the indoor version, and that if an athlete falls there would be, what, a mat? ... a trampoline? ... large pile of leaves ... to break the fall.
But back to baseball. It's been an official thing in only five of the 28 Summer Olympics so far, from 1992 to 2008. Cuba has three of those gold medals, with the U.S. (2000) and South Korea earning one each. The reason it got dumped was because the MLB players weren't there, and Cuba kept winning (one supposes).
And then there's surfing. Would there be anything to prevent the U.S. and Australia from winning the top 20 places? Also, I think that any Olympic sport that may be affected by sharks is something that should be closely examined.
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