There is, says sportscaster Mike Tirico, “a constant churn to find the sports that appeal to a new generation,” which explains the one revived and four new competitions for these Olympic Games. (It may also suggest why tug-of-war was dropped after 1920.)
Baseball/Softball comes back for the first time since 2008, which speaks to both sports’ “continued success around the globe,” Tirico states. Eight events (four each for men and women) among two separate disciplines comprise the medal table for Karate.
Skateboarding hopefuls compete on a bowl-shaped park course and a street course with rails and stairs. Athletes range in age from the home country’s 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki to Denmark’s 46-year-old Rune Glifberg, with the U.S.’s Nyjah Huston — the winningest street skater in X Games history — a clear favorite at 26.
Surfing may make an international star out of native Hawaiian Carissa Moore while raising the sport’s profile. And Sport Climbing combines three soaring events for an overall score. A medal around the long neck of Czech champ Adam Ondra would be fitting.
2020 Tokyo Olympics, Opening Ceremony, Friday, July 23, NBC