15 Jul 2021

Olympic business - How and why new sports make it into the Game

From Nine To Noon, 9:43 am on 15 July 2021

The Tokyo Games are just over a week away, and include some sports not previously seen at the Olympics in a bid to woo a younger audience. Measures were introduced ahead of the Tokyo Olympics allowing host cities to put forward sports in their Games, so baseball and softball make a return after skipping two games and karate will be included for the first time. But it's the addition of surfing, skating and sport climbing that the International Olympic Committee hopes will be a real drawcard for a younger viewing audience.

So how  - and more importantly why - do new sports make it on the Olympic schedule? What's the place of the Olympics in the modern world and what are the complex webs of power involved behind the scenes? University of Waikato professors Belinda Wheaton and Holly Thorpe have co-authored a book on this very issue called Action Sports and the Olympic Games: Past, Present, Future.

No caption

Photo: Supplied, UnSplash