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Player's Own Voice In Studio: Reinventing the Games

This installment of Player's Own Voice In Studio features rock climber Alannah Yip, race walker Evan Dunfee and figure skater Patrick Chan. The three talk about the constant renewal of Olympic sports and why, how and who chooses when new events join the Games.

Olympic sports come and go — does the IOC get it right?

Three Olympians representing a new sport (climbing), a traditional sport (race walk) and a sport that sees constant experimentation (figure skating), join Anastasia Bucsis and Signa Butler on Player's Own Voice In Studio. (Composite image/CBC Sports via The Canadian Press)

Whether we agree with their methods or not, there's no disputing the International Olympic Committee is keen on drawing younger audiences to the games.

Cynics may say that's because young viewers are more susceptible to advertising, but it is important to nurture the next generation of Olympic dreamers. The IOC's preferred way of doing that is to constantly introduce exciting new events to the Olympic roster.

Rock climbing, surfing and skateboarding will all be contested in Tokyo for the first time, and for every new sport entering the five rings, a tangle of questions follow in their wake.

Who actually decides what sports are in and out? What happens when, for example, landlocked Kansas City has to host a future surf contest? How does the IOC shape these 'new' sports to fit them within its medal structure? If it's a popularity contest, when do E-gamers get their laurels? What influence does seeing 'your' sport in the Games have on a viewer?

Player's Own Voice In Studio bends our own rules and adds an extra guest to help us talk it through.

Alannah Yip won her first national sport climbing title at 12 years old. The mechanical engineer is stoked to compete in Tokyo — where she and her sport will make their Olympic debuts.

People say Patrick Chan is the greatest male figure skater Canada has ever produced. He's won and he's won many times over. He broke scoring records, he's fluent in three languages and he has watched sports come and go at three Olympic games.

Evan Dunfee owns Canadian records in race walking and stood on world championship and IAAF podiums. He had an agonizingly close fourth-place finish in 2016 at Rio. Dunfee is a respected and vocal defender of fair play in Olympic competition.

CBC Sports co-hosts Signa Butler and Anastasia Bucsis challenge the three athlete leaders to an eye-opening conversation about new sports and the Olympic year ahead.

WATCH | Yip, Dunfee and Chan discuss reinventing the Games: 

Player's Own Voice In Studio: Reinventing the Games

Sports

23 days ago
30:00
Figure skater Patrick Chan, rock climber Alannah Yip and race walker Evan Dunfee join hosts Anastasia Bucsis and Signa Butler in the Player's Own Voice studio to talk about the constant renewal of Olympic sports and why, how, and who chooses when new events join the Olympic roster. 30:00

Player's Own Voice in Studio is the newest way that CBC Sports audiences can get to know the inner life of athletes, following in the path of Player's Own Voice podcast and the Player's Own Voice personal writing series.

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