Every four years, we get a chance to watch the best athletes in the world compete in a cornucopia of athletic endeavours at the Summer Olympics. As is the case every four years, the Summer Games introduce new events – to cater to the ever-shifting landscape of global sports. Many of the latest events are relatable, even hobbies we have done in our backyard or with friends on a nice summer day. Along with new events come new Olympic betting opportunities and odds.
So, what are the new sports at the 2020 (or 2021, whatever you want to moniker it as) Tokyo Summer Olympics?
I do not know if you want to call baseball a new sport at the Olympics – more of a return after being scrapped from the 2012 and 2016 Summer Games. Whatever the case is, baseball is back – which is fitting as Japan is one of the few countries outside of the Americas where the sport has mass appeal.
Japan’s baseball league – Nippon Professional Baseball – is taking a month off for the Summer Games, giving the Japanese team arguably the best roster in the Games. Will the MLB ever do the same? Unlikely, as the season is so long, cutting a few weeks would never work (and the players would likely not want to cut down games as it would cut down on their paycheck).
Also, we should note that baseball will not be at the 2024 Games but will make a return when the Summer Games go to Los Angeles in 2028. Weird.
“Zack Greinke” by Mitchell Layton/Getty is licensed under CC BY 3.0
From a counterculture movement to the Olympic Games – the evolution of skateboarding is undoubtedly fascinating. Skateboarding reached mainstream status in the late 90s – thanks to Tony Hawk and the eponymous video franchise, so many pre-teens played endlessly.
Now the sport is making its debut at the Olympic Games – something unfathomable 20 years ago. There are four skateboarding events and 80 competitors total, giving us plenty of opportunities to watch the best skateboarders in the world attempt the “sickest” tricks.
Adding karate to the Tokyo Summer Games just feels right – like adding butter to popcorn. Karate is rooted in Japanese culture and has expanded worldwide since the 1960s. Now, the striking-based sport makes its way to its biggest stage yet.
Different worldwide karate federations estimated there are somewhere between 50 and 100 million practisers of the martial art. Maybe you used to do it in your backyard with your siblings and friends. Whatever the case is, it will be exciting to see how karate works at the Summer Games and whether it becomes a summer staple or a one-off thing.
Surfing inclusion is fitting and also interesting. While it is a beloved warm-weather activity, it is not possible at all Olympics. Tokyo – being a coastal capital – works. But think of the many Summer Games held far from the ocean. Could you have added surfing to the 1976 Montreal Summer Games? Probably not, or if you did, it would have to be either somewhere in Atlantic Canada or thousands of miles away in British Columbia.
Still, it is exciting to see the best surfers in the world competing at the Olympics. It will give the sport a chance to grow and provide the athletes with an opportunity to become more than just surfing icons.
“Olympics Surging” by Brian Bielmann/Getty is licensed under CC BY 3.0
Sport climbing – arguably the oddest addition to the Summer Games – is a combination of lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering. To win, you need to perform the best in the three events.
Sport climbing is growing in popularity as a hobby – and a form of exercise. As an Olympic event, who knows what to expect. Scoring is the obvious thing most people will have a hard time understanding. Did you ever score your friends on how well they climbed a tree or how well you could scale your bunk bed? Probably not. Anyway, it should be a fun time and maybe find yourself a new hobby for the rest of 2021.
What events are you most excited about at the Summer Olympics? Let us know in the comments.