Climbing was one of eight sports officially proposed to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics today. This decision completes phase II of the process to get climbing into the Olympics and not, as some have reported, the final decision.
Sport climbing, bouldering and speed climbing will make up the climbing events that could be seen in Tokyo. The seven other sports shortlisted are baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, and surfing. These sports beat out twenty six others in a process that started in May of 2015 and will end when the IOC makes the final decision at the 129th IOC Session in Rio in August 2016.
It is unclear how many of the proposed sports the IOC will chose for 2020 Tokyo or if they will chose all of them.
“It is a great honor to have been chosen. We thank the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel for this fantastic opportunity and the recognition within the Olympic Movement. Of course, there is still a long way to go, and all of us at the IFSC are deeply committed to meeting the challenges ahead. Together with our athletes and the National Federations, we are reaching new heights”, Marco Scolaris, the IFSC President wrote in an IFSC press release.
From the IOC website:
“This package of events represents both traditional and emerging, youth-focused events, all of which are popular both in Japan and internationally. They will serve as a driving force to further promote the Olympic Movement and its values, with a focus on youth appeal, and will add value to the Games by engaging the Japanese population and new audiences worldwide, reflecting the Tokyo 2020 Games vision.”
Recent years have seen an impressive growth of climbing gyms in Japan. The country is fostering a lively and vibrant climbing community and several world-class athletes, in both senior and youth categories. “Now more than ever, we are convinced that Sport Climbing would be the perfect complement to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program, and be a source of inspiration to the 500,000 Japanese climbers and all the spectators who will discover this sport in real conditions” says Yagihara Kunio, JMA (Japanese Mountaineering Association) President.
“The IFSC is now fully dedicated to the next steps that will take to the final decision at the 129th IOC Session in Rio in August 2016. Until then, the IFSC will continue to work with the Athletes and the National Federations to reinforce and improve its organization to prove the solidity of this choice.”