2018’s Youth Olympics are going to be a lot more thrilling with the addition of break dancing, rock climbing and karate.
The organization recently announced the addition of dance sport, rock climbing and karate in an effort to reach more young people through urban centers.The addition of rock climbing and karate will act as a preview of what’s to come in the 2020 Olympics being held in Tokyo.
According to the Youth Olympics website, the format of all of the competitions will be equally divided between males and females as listed below:
- Dance Sport will be battle format between men, women and mixed teams
- Karate will consist of three kumite events per gender
- Sport climbing will be a combined event featuring lead, bouldering and speed for both sexes
A fact sheet has been included that contains more detailed information. And, cheerleading and muay thai have also been provided with provisional recognition, which opens the door to being added to the olympic program.
These three sports are accessible to many people from around the world. The sports allow both sexes to compete so there is gender equality and they allow the YOG (Youth Olympic Games) to increase the number of mixed sex events. Also, dance events are easy to execute since they do not need any additional infrastructure construction (meaning they can use otherwise open spaces to hold these fun events). Karate and sport climbing reinforce the fact that the YOG serves as an “incubator” for new sports to debut as well as attract younger, more energized audiences.
Overall, the three sports help the YOG engage with youth in a more modern way — by evolving and embracing “emerging, universal and urban sports.” Having grown up in the 80’s, the writer of this post may dispute the idea that break dancing and karate are emerging sports, but applauds the YOG for responding to increased activity and engagement in particular sports and for providing a much needed platform for
new popular sports to develop.