Should skateboarding be an Olympic sport? Britons judge the Tokyo 2020 additions

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
July 23, 2021, 10:00 AM UTC

Nine new events have been added to the upcoming Olympics

The delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer will feature 33 sports and 339 events. Several sports will be making their first appearance, others are being relaunched, while some will expand to include new events.

Under new rules, Olympic host cities can hand-pick sports they want in the Games to join the existing 28 core sports, Japan is opting to add baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding. Other new events within the existing core sports include 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX, and the return of madison cycling.

Brits are split on whether many of these new additions should feature at the Games, with some getting great support but others being less warmly received. Seven in ten (72%) think that karate should be Olympic sport, the highest of the new events and sports YouGov asked about. Only 13% think the marital art should not feature.

Madison cycling – a relay event with teams of cyclists that is being reintroduced for the 2020 games – is also popular, with six in ten (62%) thinking it too should be an Olympic sport compared to 15% who don’t.

However, beyond these two events Brits are more divided.

While people are split 42% to 38% over whether or not surfing should be included at the Games, part of the reason for allowing host nations to add new sports is to help draw a younger audience to the Olympics. Surfing appears to do just that, with half (50%) of those aged 18 to 24 thinking that surfing should be an Olympics sport, compared to around three in ten (32%) of those aged 55 and over

There is a similar split in opinion over sport climbing, with 39% overall thinking it should be part of the Games, and 41% thinking it should not. Again, it proves more popular with the young - 57% of those aged 18 to 24 thinking it should be included, compared to only 26% of the those aged 55 and over.

Freestyle BMX biking is being added as a cycling event, which is supported by 38% of people but opposed by 43%. As for skateboarding, more people don’t think it should be an Olympic sport (47%) than think it should (34%).

Baseball and softball are also joining the programme, however only 32% and 29% of people respectively think they should be part of the Games, with just a fifth (19%) backing the inclusion of 3 versus 3 basketball.

See full results here