The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo could have a decidedly different look as 26 sports have applied to be considered for addition to the Olympic program.
According to Jim Armstrong of the Associated Press (h/t Yahoo), the Olympic hopefuls include unheralded sports such as korfball and tug of war, but bids have also been submitted by the likes of baseball, softball and American football.
Here is a full listing of the sports that the International Olympic Committee will discuss:
|2020 Summer Olympics Inclusion Application List|
|22||Tug of war|
|24||Waterski and wakeboard|
|The Associated Press|
Per Armstrong (h/t Yahoo.com), IOC President Thomas Bach is focusing on sports that are popular among young people:
We would like to see in the proposals also an event or events which are attractive to youth in particular. We think that this would be a win-win situation. It would give Japan the great opportunity to present itself to the world as a youthful nation looking to the future embracing youth and other cultures.
The joint bid of baseball and softball will undoubtedly generate plenty of attention in particular since those sports have such a huge impact on Japan. They haven’t been part of the Olympics since 2008, but former Team USA softball star Jessica Mendoza is among those who hope that changes.
Golf and rugby were added to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, which means there is certainly hope for some of the sports that applied for 2020.
A few of them have a better chance than others due to their worldwide profile and popularity being much greater, but every sport involved has a chance to increase its overall awareness simply by being mentioned in the same breath as the Olympics.