The International Olympic Committee recently announced that, with the 18 new mixed-gender events that will be featured at the 2020 Olympics, those Games will have twice as many women as the 2016 Games in Rio!
The IOC estimates that 48.8 percent of the athletes will be women up from 45.6 percent in Rio, coming closer to the targeted 50-50 balance. To achieve this, the Committee voted to add four youth and urban-based games: surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and karate. And they’re also bringing back baseball and softball (which the Olympics consider as one sport).
To find out how this news has been received by past and current athletes, we asked athletes in the sport of softball, surfing and skateboarding for their reaction. Here’s what they said:
“We should have never left but I am so proud of Tokyo and the IOC to bring softball and baseball BACK to the Olympic Games. There is so much passion in the fast-paced game and I know with Japan as the defending Olympic champions, there will be some serious competition showcasing this amazing sport!!!” – Jessica Mendoza, Softball Olympic Gold Medalist
“It’s such an exciting time for the sport of surfing. For years the sport of surfing has pushed to be in the Olympics and it’s finally happening in Tokyo in 2020. I feel this opportunity will only bring better global awareness about the sport and more opportunities for the surf brands and talented athletes. I feel the Olympics is going to bring a higher level of understanding about the sport and it’s positive effects. It’s going to be a very exciting year for surfers around the globe and the sport is only going to grow for the better.” – Mary Osborne, International Surfing Icon
“I am excited about skateboarding getting into the Olympics. I am currently at the X Games in Minneapolis, you can already see not only a new wave of girls but also a huge increase in international talent here! It’s really cool to see. I look forward to more and more skaters from around the world popping into the contest scene. I hope the Olympics bring some mainstream sponsors and support into the sport especially for the women.” – Lyn-z Adams Hawkins Pastrana, X Games Skateboarding Gold Medalist
Some might wonder what took them so long, but we say, better late than never!