Making a splash: 2020 Tokyo Olympics welcomes 4 new sports

Posted at 3:25 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 18:27:02-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Four new sports hope to make a splash at the 2020 summer games in Tokyo.

Climbing, karate, surfing and skateboarding will be recognized as Olympic sports for the first time starting Friday, ushering in a new generation of athletes and hopefully fans.

“The whole world is going to be watching us,” Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina said.

Not typically known for raucous waves, Japan will serve as a unique background for the sports debut.

“We rely on Mother Nature so I think people will be really interested in that,” American surfer Caroline Marks said.

Riding rails, not waves; Team USA skateboarding hopes an international platform translates to larger gates at other events.

“I think it definitely has an opportunity to help the sport grow a lot,” American skateboarder Nyjah Houston said “[Olympics] is way bigger than any X games or any street league or anything like that.”

Meanwhile, karate makes a breakthrough in a country steeped in the sports culture.

“I am super excited to you know, just go out there and Tokyo and represent my sport and represent my country,” American participant Sakura Kokuma said.

Others hope to soar to new highs starting this summer.

“The more people who are introduced to climbing the better I think making the sport more inclusive, more accessible is something that I hope comes from this extra exposure,” American climber Kyra Condie said.

The 2020 Summer games begin Friday on KSHB 41.