New sports at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games   2020年のオリンピックとパラリンピックの新しいスポーツ

Date of publication :

A surfer in Chiba Prefecture


Karateka (karate practitioners)

Baseball stadium in Yokohama

No two Olympic Games are the same...

Each Olympic Games and Paralympic Games is an opportunity to see which new sports athletes will have the chance to compete in. Discover the new and re-introduced sports that will feature in the upcoming 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

A golden opportunity

Previously, adding or removing a sport was the preserve of the International Olympic Committee. But the adoption of a new IOC "strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement" in 2014, called the Olympic Agenda 2020, has changed the game. From now on, the host country of the upcoming Games is free to submit its own selection of new sports for its event.

Japan, the first host country to have this opportunity, submitted a proposal for five new sports back in September 2015, "all popular in Japan and internationally" according to Yoshiro Mori, the chairman of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

In August 2016, the IOC, which retains decision-making power, approved the five new sports shortlisted by Japan for the 2020 Olympic Games, namely baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.

The presence of baseball and karate on the list are surely no surprise; baseball and softball being hugely popular sports in Japan and karate being a traditional martial art native to the country. As for the other three, they're an opportunity for the IOC to prove it wants to offer younger and more urban games for this Olympic Games.

Badminton and taekwondo will feature in the Paralympic Games for the first time too, in accordance with the decision of the International Paralympic Committee in January 2015.

The Tokyo games will include 339 events in 33 Olympic sports, and 540 events in 22 Paralympic sports.

Olympic Games

Baseball and softball

Baseball and softball are back, after having been absent for two Games. First becoming an Olympic sport in 1992 at the Barcelona Games, after being a demonstration sport at the Olympics for 80 years, baseball disappeared from the list of Olympic sports after the 2008 Beijing Games.

Softball had a similar fate, previously only appearing on the official Olympic program between 1996 and 2008.

To justify its choice, the IOC argued the sports have low popularity worldwide and low participation from the best players. But Japan couldn't help but reinstate these two sports so popular on home turf; especially as its national teams are among the best in the world!

Dates of the baseball events : July 29 to August 8, 2020.

Dates of softball events : July 22 to July 28, 2020

Baseball returns to the 2020 Olympic Games

Venue: Fukushima Azuma baseball stadium

  • Address : Kamikotoba-1 Sabara, 960-2158 Fukushima
  • Access by car : 10 minutes from Fukushima-Nishi IC on Tohoku Highway or 20 minutes from JR Fukushima Station.
  • Access by bus : 30 minutes by local bus from the east exit of JR Fukushima Station to Sabara or Sabara / Shikinosato and get off at Azuma Sogo Taiikukan or Azuma Rikujyo Kyogijyo.

Venue: Yokohama Stadium

  • Address : Yokohamakoen, Naka-ku, 231-0022 Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Train Access : 2-minute walk from Kannai Station South Exit on JR Negishi Line or 5-minute walk from JR Isgikawacho Station North Exit on JR Negishi Line.
  • Metro access : 3-minute walk from Kannai Station Exit # 1 (17) on Yokohama City Metro or a 3-minute walk from Exit # 2 at Nihon-Odori Station on Minatomirai Line



The upcoming karate competition of the Tokyo Olympics is a major event, and for several reasons: karate is on the official program of the Olympic Games for the first time in its history. Not only that, but in it's country of origin!

When it comes to events, two different disciplines are represented: kumite, combat, and kata, a succession of codified movements mimicking a fight.

Related: Japanese martial arts

Dates of the tests: August 6 to 8, 2020.

The competition will take place at Nippon Budokan, the center of Japanese martial arts.

  • Address : 2-3 Kianomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  • Access : 5-minute walk from Exit # 2 Kudanshita Station on Tozai Subway Line (T07), Hanzomon (Z06) and Shinjuku (S05).


Yet again, the 2020 Tokyo Games are introducing a completely new Olympic sport, and debuting the first Olympic skateboard competition.

During these events, 40 men and 40 women will compete in two disciplines: the street (an urban street-like course with stairs, rails, benches, ramps and more) and the park (dishes and bowls with steep inclines). The competitors will be judged on their speed, flow, timing, stability, originality and the difficulty of the tricks they perform.

Dates of the tests: park, from August 5th to 6th; street, from the 26th to the 27th of July 2020.

The venue, Ariake Urban Sports Park, home of the competition, is a temporary facility.

  • Address : Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo (North Ariake District)
  • Access by train : 8 minutes walk from Kokusai-tenjijo station on the Rinkai line.
  • Metro access : 1 minute walk from Ariake-tennis-no-mori station (U13) on the Yurikamome line.
  • Access by bus : Take a Toei bus from Tokyo Yaesuguchi (16) or Tokyo Marunouchi-Minamiguchi (05), get off at Ariake Tennis No-Mori stop and then walk 3 minutes.




From August 4th to 7th, 20 women and 20 men will compete for gold in the first Olympic sport climbing event in history.

For this unprecedented event, the International Climbing Federation was given the difficult task of creating a new competition format.

They have managed to develop an event combining three disciplines: speed, bouldering, and lead (a climbing wall).

Dates of the tests: August 4th to 7th, 2020.

Venue: Aomi Urban Sports Park

  • Address : Koto-ku, Tokyo
  • Access : A 10-minute walk from the Aomi (U10) and Fune no kakagukan (U8) stations on the Yurikamome Line.


With an impressive length of 60km, Tsurigasaki Beach on the Pacific coast of Chiba Prefecture is the second longest beach in Japan.

Known for its impressive waves, the beach was chosen by the Organizing Committee of the 2020 Games to host the shortboard events.

The competitors, 20 men and 20 women, will compete on this beach in the city of Ichinomiya, located one hundred kilometers from Tokyo. An entry into the Olympics that promises to make waves!

Dates of the tests: from 26 to 29 July, 2020.

Venue: Tsurigasaki Beach

  • Address : Ichinomiyamachi, Chosei-gun, Chiba
  • Bus access : 1.5 hours by bus from Shinjuku Station
  • Access by train : from Tokyo, take the Ltd Exp Wakashio to Kazusa-Ichinomiya (60 min), then take the No. 49 bus

Paralympic Games


The 90 athletes selected for the para-badminton competition will play singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the Yoyogi National Stadium, a venue designed by architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005) for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The rules are almost identical to regular badminton rules, except for wheelchair singles matches in which only half of the court is used.

The Yoyogi Olympic Stadium

Dates of the tests: from September 2nd to 6th, 2020.

Venue: Yoyogi National Stadium

  • Address : 2-1-1 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
  • Train Access : 5-minute walk from Harajuku Station (JY19) on Yamanote Line or 15-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JY20) on Yamanote Line
  • Metro access : a 5-minute walk from Exit No. 1 of Meiji-jingumae Station on Chiyoda Subway Line (C03) or Fukutoshin Subway Line (F15), a 10-minute walk from Yoyogi-koen Station (C02) on the Chiyoda subway line.


Featured for the first time at the Olympics, para-taekwondo is an adaptation of taekwondo for athletes with a physical disability.

There are usually two forms: gyeorugi (for athletes with upper limb impairments) and poomsae (for athletes with intellectual impairments). But for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, only gyeorugi will be practised.


Dates of the tests: from September 3rd to 5th, 2020.

Venue: Makuhari Messe, Hall B

  • Address : 2-1, Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba, Chiba
  • Access by Train : 5 minutes walk from Kaihimmakuhari Station (JE13) on the JR Keiyo Line.
  • Bus Access : Take a 01 Keisei Bus to Makuharihongo Station, get off at Makuhari Messe Chuo Station and walk 1 minute.

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