Baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, climbing and surfing: these are the five new sports that the organizers of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo want to add to their Olympic program. Under the new rules, the host cities can select the subjects to be included, but the final word rests with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which will decide next August, during the Rio Olympics.

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They might not be as classical or demanding as the 800 meters track or so popular in the Old World (even though the two best basketball teams in the European Nations tournament will participate in the Rio Olympics, but organizers explain in an official statement that the new sports are seen as traditional and emerging at the same time and very popular among young people, in Japan and internationally.

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Therefore the introduction of these new sports will be driving force to further promote the Olympic movement and its values, in Japan and all over the world. Moreover since the suggested sports are already well established in Japan, no new venues would need to be built and increase overall infrastructure costs.

The new sports, if accepted by the International Olympic Committee, would result in 18 new medals, 9 for men and 9 for women, and involve 474 athletes from all over the globe.

Baseball and softball are very likely to be accepted by the IOC, since they were already an Olympic sport from 1996 until 2008 and they are extremely popular in Japan, while karate, skateboarding, climbing and surfing would be making its debut at the 2020 Olympics, so they are less likely to be accepted.

Other sports, bowling, squash and wushu, have already been rejected by the organizers in the month of June by the very organizers, causing extreme disappointments among the sports supporters.

Under new rules concerning the Olympic Games, Olympic host cities can select sports they would like to see included at their hosted Games, joining the existing 28 core sports, and suggest them to the IOC, which has the right to accept all or some of them, or refuse them. This is part of a regulations reform initiated by IOC president Thomas Bach last year, in order to boost ratings as well as to attract greater sponsorship.

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