The Olympics were always meant to be a place where the best athletes in the world can compete, regardless of nationality, color, creed, and gender, but it hasn’t always come through in practice, especially for women. The recent Games have seen a greater inclusion of mixed and solely female events, but the upcoming Summer Games in Tokyo are set to push the balance even more than ever before. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will feature new events and a greater variety of female athletics than ever before.
The announcement came today via a press release on the official Olympics website. In the press release, the International Olympics Committee announced a new campaign to boost female participation, as well as raise appeal among young and urban viewership. IOC President Thomas Bach stressed his interest in pushing heightened female involvement in the Olympic games with an official statement in the press release.
“The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 programme last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic programme. I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women.”
The changes and additions to the overall pool of events and sports for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were also summarized in a new advertisement video for the upcoming Summer games.
The youth and urban-centered additions to the Summer Olympics bring 3-on-3 basketball and BMX freestyle into the Tokyo games. These two sports come into the mix alongside the already implemented sport climbing, skateboarding, baseball/softball, surfing and karate.
Meanwhile, several athletic and enthusiast competitions are set to feature new mixed and female events. Among them, archery, judo, swimming, athletics, and table tennis will see mixed team events. Other competitions will see new and greater female representation than previously offered, including judo, freestyle wrestling, BMX racing, shooting, weightlifting, and more. The overall Summer Olympics are getting 15 new events as a result of the changes, all of which feature some kind of female representation.
While the overall length of the Olympics will increase as a result of the changes, the IOC claims that the impact on the rest of the games is set to be as minimal as possible. The organization stressed that the goal was to supplement the games with meaningful additions while keeping the core steady and intact. That said, in making these changes, the IOC also claimed that the Tokyo Olympics will achieve a projected 48.8 percent female participation. This tops the 45.6 percent set by the Rio Olympics in 2016 and would mark a record high for the Summer Olympics.
Meanwhile, the latest upcoming volley of the Summer Olympics is slated for October 2018 when the Youth Summer Olympics will head to Buenos Aires. In those games, a few of the announced urban events will already be implemented into the overall program, including sport climbing and BMX freestyle.
These latest additions to the Summer Games continue to push the dynamic set about in the modern spirit of the Olympics. The IOC has thoroughly stressed inclusivity as a means to boost diversity in the overall make-up and implementation of new events for the Tokyo Olympics, stretching to athletic corners of the world that have yet to be explored on the world stage of the Games. Whether or not these new events will pay off in viewership for the overall event will remain to be seen. That said, it would appear that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is set to feature a more diverse showcase of athletic talent than ever seen in the Games before, for both men and women.
[Featured Image by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images]