Local athletes excited about addition of five sports to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 23, 2021

Five sports will debut on the Olympic stage in Tokyo.

For the first time ever, surfing, sports climbing, karate, baseball/softball, and skateboarding will take place at the Olympics.

Many Central Coast athletes are excited to see their sport compete at the highest international level.

"I definitely enjoy the competition and am excited to see people throw down big tricks or try and get consecutive tricks,” skateboarder Adrian Villegas said. “I expect skateboarding to expand and reach broader horizons.”

The owner of Central Coast surfboards and avid surfer Scott Smith is looking forward to the competition.

“It's a bonus contest to watch. It's going to be very similar to a championship tour event, that's how I'm anticipating it anyways,” Smith said. “It will be neat to see how the whole thing unfolds."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to add the sports in August of 2016 to be featured for the first time at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

It's a huge step in bringing the games to younger generations.

"Kids and adults, we are all inspired by whatever sport, whether it's watching surfing, swimming or wherever your passion goes, you watch it and especially for the younger kids, they go 'oh, I want to do that,’" Smith said.

The inclusion of the new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes, according to the IOC.

It'll also add hope for future Olympians.

“It's another point of inspiration of the highest level perhaps,” Smith added.