A range of new mixed-gender events will feature at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. In the hope that women’s participation will be at a record high 48.9%, It is hoped that this change will make the 200th edition of the games the most gender balanced yet.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last week the games will feature 15 new events with mixed-gender being approved for a variety of athletics, swimming, table tennis and triathlon events. These include mixed-gender relays in the 4x400m relay and 4x100m swimming medley.
This signals the biggest sports shakeup in Olympic history and there are also mixed team events in archery, fencing and judo. As well as the added mixed-gender events the Tokyo games will also see the additions of new sports including freestyle BMX, baseball, softball, surfing, sports climbing and skateboarding increasing the total to 33 sports.
How does this benefit the Olympics?
The Olympics have long strived for better gender equality and this change is just the latest attempt to achieve this. IOC president Thomas Bach said: “The fascinating new events that we approved today, together with the five new sports that were added to the Tokyo 2020 programme last year, represent a step-change in the Olympic programme. I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women.”
Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty has said that the addition of mixed-gender events will make the games ‘more fun’ but gender equality is certainly the main factor behind the decision.
What else will be new in 2020?
As well as the mixed-gender sports and increase of sports up to 33, there is plenty to get excited about in Tokyo in three years time. One of the five extra sports is three-on-three basketball as the Olympics’ attempts to connect with a younger audience.
Also, Usain Bolt’s confirmation that he is to retire in August means that for the first time in over a decade we will see a new 100m and 200m champion. The opportunity for a new athletics hero to make his mark on the biggest stage of all is an extremely exciting prospect.
Here at Champions Olympic Speakers, we have an abundance of the best Olympic speakers who are able to offer their opinions on the mixed-gender decision and a range of other issues. Simply call us on +44 1509 85 29 27 or complete our online form for more information.