Baseball, skateboarding and surfing among sports approved for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

New sports additions benefit North Carolina with USA Baseball back in the Olympics fold.

Sergio Moraes—
Yoshiro Mori

Five sports, including baseball, skateboarding and surfing, will be added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the IOC voted them in on Wednesday in an attempt to revamp the Games program to attract a younger audience.The Committee unanimously rubber-stamped its executive board’s June decision, approving the inclusion of skateboarding, surfing, sports climbing, karate and a joint baseball/softball bid, which is expected to significantly boost local support for the Olympics.”This will help make the Tokyo Games one of the most innovative Games in history,” IOC VP John Coates said.Baseball and softball, proposed to be staged in Yokohama, will each have a competition involving six teams. They were last featured at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 before being taken off the program and skipping the 2012 and the 2016 Games.It is unclear, however, if baseball will feature the world’s best players from the MLB in the United States.”Today’s historic decision by the IOC is a ‘home run’ for the Olympics, our sport and the Tokyo 2020 Games,” World Baseball and Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari said.The move to bring baseball back to the Olympics stage is a huge boon for North Carolina, as USA Baseball gets back into the fold on the international stage. While teams like the 18U and National Collegiate Teams have traveled the world each summer, being thrust into the Olympics spotlight adds more prestige for the USA Baseball programs based in Cary.”USA Baseball is thrilled that baseball and softball have been reinstated onto the Olympic Programme,” Paul Seiler, Executive Director and CEO of USA Baseball said. “We believe that baseball and softball add tremendous value to the Olympic Movement and we are excited to validate this show of support at the Olympic Games in 2020. “We appreciate the work done by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee in supporting this endeavor.Hosts can bring in sports popular in their countries to boost ratings and attract greater sponsorship as well as a younger generation of fans.”I am so happy and so thrilled and I my have lost some of my composure,” Tokyo Games chief Yoshiro Mori said. “This was an epoch-making decision today.”Reuters contributed to this report