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3 Surprising Sports to follow at the 2020 Summer Olympics

There is an ongoing debate about what can be considered a true sport and what cannot. The opponents are vocal especially when it comes to mind sports and competitive gaming, arguing that chess, bridge, and video games don’t involve any physical training and effort, and thus they can’t be considered true sports. There are, in turn, disciplines that, although they involve a lot of training and effort, they are rarely seen as true sports. These are often seen as lifestyle choices and passing fads. And to be honest, you rarely see them on sports TV channels or their odds at sportsbooks like Betway. The perception of at least three of these will, in turn, change fundamentally next year, with the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Climbing

Rock climbing is another activity that’s generally not seen as a sport – even though it involves a lot of training, technique, and difficulty. Rock climbers are often seen as daredevils – but this will change next year when the first sport climbing event will take place at the Tokyo Olympics. Climbers will compete in three disciplines: bouldering (climbing several fixed routes with no safety rope), lead climbing (climbing as high on a wall as they can, in a set timeframe, using safety ropes) and speed climbing (two climbers racing each other on a fixed route to the top of a 15-meter wall).

Surfing

Surfers, again, are seen by some as outsiders, kids that never grow up and all they care about is waves. Once again, they fail to see the training and effort involved in riding the waves in a perfect way – this will finally change next summer in Japan. Surfing will be the only event that won’t take place at one of the Tokyo stadiums – it will be held at the Shidashita Beach on Japan’s Pacific coast, about 40 miles outside the city. The competitors will be judged on how difficult their maneuvers are, masterfully executing tricks on the crest of the biggest waves they can catch.

Skateboarding

For the first time, at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, skateboarding will be seen as a true sport. Skaters from all over the world will compete in two disciplines – park and street skateboarding, with separate events for men and women. The “park” event will take place in several bowl-shaped courses, half-pipes, ramps, and such where the skaters can gather momentum and perform various tricks – in the end, they will be ranked by the difficulty and originality of their performance, among others. The “street” event, in turn, will replicate a normal urban environment with various obstacles – benches, boxes, rails, and ramps – and will see athletes replicate street skating and be scored based on their technique and speed. Let’s hope Lukman Abdulrahman will have the chance to compete in the next edition in 2024.

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