International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound reported the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in a phone interview with USA TODAY. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Pound said the Games will likely be moved to 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks. He said he expects the IOC to announce its next steps soon.
“We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be held July 24 to Aug. 9. Baseball/softball are returning to the Olympic stage, while karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing will be seen for the first time this Olympics. There will be several mixed team options in this Olympics, and some new variations on the the sports including 3X3 basketball. Check out below what’s new and what will spice up the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Archery adds a mixed team event to the existing men’s and women’s individual and team recurve events for 2020. Mixed team is a match play format as teams of one man and one woman face off head-to-head.
Baseball (men’s) and softball (women’s) make their return to the Olympic program after a 12-year absence.
The addition of the 3-on-3 variant, which includes teams of four athletes. 3×3 is a half-court game with a single basket. Shots inside the arc are worth one point and shots from outside are worth two. The first team to 21 points wins, or the team leading at the end of the 10-minute regulation time. Check out this video that explains the rules.
Boxing sees greater gender equality in 2020 as the number of men’s weight divisions goes from 10 to eight and women’s increases from three to five. Women’s boxing made its Olympic debut in 2012.
Gender equality was also considered in canoe/kayak, as three women’s events have been added and three dropped for men. In sprint, women’s C1 200-meter and C2 500-meter are new (one- and two-person canoe, respectively), while men’s K2 200 (doubles kayak) and C1 200 will be dropped. The only new event for men will be the K4 500 (four-person kayak). In slalom, women’s C1 makes its Olympic debut, and men’s C2 will be removed.
BMX racing was introduced at the Beijing Games in 2008, but BMX park, which is contested at X Games and on the UCI world cup circuit, makes its debut in 2020. Riders have three timed runs to put together their best routine for the judges.
On the track, Madison cycling makes its return to the program after having been dropped following the 2008 Games. In Madison, pairs of riders race each other over a set distance, switching back and forth between who is racing and who is resting.
For the first time, all six team events will be contested at the Games. In the past, the events would alternate with a different two sitting out each Games. Men’s team saber and women’s team foil were not contested in Rio, and they will be on the program in Tokyo, as well as men’s and women’s team epee, men’s team foil and women’s team saber.
New for 2020 is a mixed team Judo event in which each nation will form a team of three men and three women, each from one of three weight classes.
Karate will be making its Olympic debut in 2020. Karate broadly has two disciplines: kata (forms) and kumite (sparring). The sparring competition is broken down by weight class — three each for men and women. There is just one forms competition, in which athletes display their ability to perform the movements of karate, with events for men and women.
For greater gender equality, the men’s lightweight four was dropped for 2020 and the women’s four added in its place. This is the first change to the Olympic rowing program since 1996. Rowing events will take place in Tokyo Bay.
Shooting is another sport mixing it up by adding a mixed team event. Duos of one man and one woman will compete in air pistol, air rifle and trap.
Skateboarding has both park and street competitions for men and women. The street course consists of ramps and rails for riders to put together a varied routine of tricks. Competitors get three timed runs to post their best score.
Sport Climbing (NEW)
Sport climbing debuts with an overall competition encompassing three events typically competed separately on the world cup circuit: speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing. Speed climbing is much like it sounds, with two climbers racing each other to the top of a 15-meter high wall. Bouldering tests an athlete’s technical ability, presenting climbers with a short course that they have to negotiate in a fixed amount of time. In lead climbing, athletes attempt to climb as high as they can on a 15-meter wall within six minutes. This competition requiring varied skills should put climbers to the test.
Surfing will be contested on Shidashita Beach in Chiba, roughly 40 miles outside the capital. Surfing will be of the shortboard variety with a competition for both men and women. Twenty surfers will be entered in each with up to two per gender per nation. Four athletes compete at a time in heats, with each heat lasting 20-25 minutes.
During that time, surfers are judged on their skill in riding the waves and awarded a score. Surfing conditions are highly variable, and as such, competition will have a 16-day window to allow for optimal waves.
One new distance will be added in both the men’s and women’s competitions, as well as one mixed gender event. The 800-meter freestyle joins the men’s program, and the 1,500 free gets added for women. Both distances have been featured in the opposite gender’s program for some time. The 4×100-meter mixed medley has also been added, which is similar to the men’s and women’s mixed relay but features two athletes of each gender.
Mixed doubles gets added to the Olympic program for 2020, joining men’s and women’s singles and team events. It has long been a fixture at the World Table Tennis Championships dating back to 1926.
Triathlon will add a mixed event of its own in 2020 with a mixed team relay. Each nation will field a team of two men and two women, and each athlete will complete a scaled down version of the Olympic triathlon. This will consist of a 300-meter swim, an 8-kilometer bike ride and a 2-kilometer run.
Track and Field
Strategy is the name of the game as the 4×400 mixed joins the track and field program. Each team consists of two men and two women, and the order in which they run will be a key decision facing each nation.
Two more women’s teams will compete in Tokyo than in Rio, bringing the total to 12 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams. Women’s water polo debuted at the Games in 2000 with six countries competing.