Karate’s pitch for the 2020 Olympics

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Karate’s History: Run by the World Karate Federation, which was founded in 1961 and which has been hosting worlds (roughly) every two years since 1970. This is karate’s third consecutive bid after barely failing to get the necessary two-thirds vote in 2005, and then being beat by golf and rugby in 2009.

Notable Stats: The WKF represents 185 nations and 10 million athletes.

The Pitch: “The K Is On the Way” is karate’s motto for showing the IOC how international the sport is, how the youth movement is creating potential Olympians, and why the Olympics would benefit from karate’s inclusion. It’s also the WKF’s way to show the world how great spectator sport it is, with an easier to understand scoring system, fewer pads, and a more aggressive fighting style than taekwondo.

The Odds: 6-1. Similar to squash being yet another racquet sport, karate is held back because it would be the fourth combat sport in the games after Judo – also Japanese – fencing, and taekwondo. Karate is also going up against the more popular combat sport in wrestling, so while karate could land on the shortlist in its third bid for the Games, it’s bid still likely won’t be strong enough to make it in.

It’s over: a low-key Games on a far more human scale

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The 2018 Winter Olympics shivered Sunday to a close, surely defined by cold and wind but destined — just as in Seoul 30 years before — to mark a key chapter in history on the Korean peninsula.

NBCOlympics.com: Sights and Sounds from the 2918 Olympics Closing Ceremony

These Games are likely to be recalled as an inflection point in Olympic history, too. After logistical dramas and more at Rio 2016 and Sochi 2014, the Olympic scene needed a Games at which the venues were built, the buses ran on time, security was subtle, the volunteers were super-friendly — organizationally, everything more or less just worked — and the spotlight shone on the athletes and their stories of inspiration.

That’s what PyeongChang delivered.

A low-key Games on a far more human scale.

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More of best GIFs from PyeongChang Olympics

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The 2018 Winter Games are over, but that doesn’t mean we’ll forget all the amazing heights reached by American athletes. Take a look back at a few of them here with an added twist, powered by Giphy: