Road To The Olympic Games

Summer Sports

IOC recommends baseball-softball for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Olympic leaders have recommended the addition of baseball-softball and four other sports to the program of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Surfing, karate, roller skating and sport climbing also on list

Baseball last appeared in the Olympics at the 2008 Beijing Games. (Omar Torres/Getty Images)

IOC vice-president John Coates says the executive board was unanimous in its decision to recommend the addition of five sports to the program of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

He says baseball-softball, surfing, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing were approved as a single package on Wednesday. They will be presented that way when the recommendation is put to a vote at the IOC general assembly in Rio de Janeiro in August on the eve of the Summer Games.

Coates says the five represent a "good balance between sports that are very popular in Japan and those better engaging youth."

He notes that baseball and softball have a huge following in Japan, and karate has a long tradition in the country.

Coates says sport climbing is an emerging sport in Europe, surfing offers a "whole new culture" to the Olympics and skateboarding is particularly appealing to youth.

He says NBC, which holds the U.S. TV rights to the Tokyo Games, has suggested holding opening skateboarding events on the eve of the opening ceremony.

Coates said the IOC's recommendation follows an agreement between the International Roller Skating Federation and the International Skateboarding Federation. He says the ISF will run the sport at the Olympics.

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