Wednesday afternoon the International Olympic Committee announced that it has approved the addition of five sports for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, with skateboarding and surfing due to make their respective Olympic debuts. Also making the cut were baseball/softball, karate and sports climbing. While baseball and softball are obviously two separate sports, their bid was a joint bid hence their approval as a single entity.
However, It “The additional sports in Tokyo will not impact the athlete or event quotas of existing Olympic sports or be binding on future host cities,” per the IOC release. “The current athlete and event quotas are unaffected.”
Baseball and softball were both removed from the Olympics following the 2008 Summer Olympics in Bejing, with baseball having made its debut as an official Olympic sport in 1992. Softball made its debut as an Olympic sport in 1996 in Atlanta. While those two sports have prior history in the Summer Olympics, the other four sports added Wednesday do not. Karate joins tae kwon do and judo as martial arts in the Summer Olympics, with tae kwon do making its official debut in 2000 and judo doing so way back in 1972 (judo was part of the 1964 Summer Olympics program, but not in 1968).
“We want to take sport to the youth. With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us,” IOC president Thomas Bach said of the additions. “We have to go to them. Tokyo 2020’s balanced proposal fulfils all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”
There was no shortage of positive reactions on Twitter to the additions of these sports, as one would expect.
The International Olympic Committee plans to donate €500,000 ($562,000) to the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in the 2024 Olympic host city.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that he wants to see Notre Dame restored within five years.
“The aim of completing the reconstruction in time for Paris 2024 will be an extra motivation for all of us,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a Wednesday letter to Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse, which reported Notre Dame is on the planned marathon and road cycling routes. “All the Olympic Movement and in particular the IOC have been extremely touched by the instantaneous connection the French have made between Notre Dame cathedral and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
More than $500 million has been pledged overall from around the globe after a fire ravaged the 850-year-old cathedral on Monday.
NBC News has more on the Notre Dame fire here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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NHL All-Stars Jack Eichel, Ryan Suter and Cory Schneider join previously named captain Patrick Kane to lead the U.S. at next month’s world hockey championship in Slovakia, seeking the nation’s first title at a standalone worlds since 1933.
Sixteen players were added to the roster in Thursday’s announcement with more to come before worlds open May 10 and more teams get eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, making more players available. The IIHF allows up to 25 players per nation.
Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill will be the U.S. head coach for a third straight worlds. The Americans lost in the quarterfinals in 2017 and earned bronze in 2018, sandwiching an Olympic quarterfinal exit in PyeongChang without NHL players.
Sweden is trying to become the first nation to three-peat at worlds since the Czech Republic in 2001.
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Preliminary IIHF World Championship Roster
Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks)
Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres)
Luke Glendening (Detroit Red Wings)
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
Chris Kreider (New York Rangers)
Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings)
James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
Frank Vatrano (Florida Panthers)
Colin White (Ottawa Senators)
Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks)
Alec Martinez (Los Angeles Kings)
Brady Skjei (New York Rangers)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild)
Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
Cayden Primeau (Laval (AHL))
Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)