The Six New Sports Coming to the Tokyo Olympics

Five years ago, the International Olympic Committee announced 6 new sports will be taking place at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Some of the 6 new sports listed below are making their Olympic debut, whereas others are making their long-awaited return, since the IOC reformed its rules to allow the host country to have more influence in what sports will be played to increase the overall popularity of the Olympics. There is also more of a focus on youth-oriented sports, which will help the future of the games. The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled for 2020 but due to the ongoing pandemic, they were rescheduled, which gave athletes more time to train for the event. Of the 6 new sports, 4 of them are making their debut on the international stage. 

Baseball

Baseball was once an Olympic event from 1992 to 2008 but America’s Pastime has made its long-awaited return to the world’s stage with this year’s event, partially due to its popularity in Japan. There will not be any baseball at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, so fans will have to get their fix when 6 countries from around the world compete at this year’s event. USA, Korea, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Israel, and Mexico will compete in a tournament to determine the champion.

When to watch: The baseball tournament begins at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 27, with the Gold Medal Game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 8.

Softball

From 1996 to 2008, the best women in the world competed on the international stage at the softball event. Like baseball, the sport will be making its one-off return at this year’s event in a 6-team tournament featuring Japan, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. The 6 countries will compete against each other in a round-robin format during the opening round with the top-2 teams automatically advancing into the Gold Medal Game.

When to watch: The softball tournament begins at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 20, with the Gold Medal Game scheduled for 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, July 27.

Skateboarding

Skateboarding is making its Olympic debut at this year’s games and will return at the 2024 games. Skaters will show off their skills when it comes to park and street disciplines while judges watch and rate each one. The park competitions will be held in a dome-shaped bowl and skaters will get to showcase their tricks and skills. The street competition will allow skaters to grind it out by navigating an obstacle course featuring rails and stairs. Men and women will participate separately within each discipline.

When to watch: Skateboarding will take place from 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 25, through 11:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 4.

Surfing

Like skateboarding, surfing will make its debut at this year’s games and returning in 2024. The best surfers in the world will be competing at Tsurigasaki Beach in Ichinomiya in preliminary-round heats followed by a head-to-head knockout competition. There will be a separate contest for men and women that may end up being delayed due to wave conditions, which is common, thus allowing flexibility to the contest window

When to watch: Surfing will begin at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 24, with the finals scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 28.

Sport Climbing

Due to the popularity of recreational indoor climbing and documentaries about climbers, sports climbing will make its debut at this year’s Olympics. Usually, the disciplines of speed, lead, and bouldering, are competed in different events but this year’s Olympics will be unique because it will be a single event with all 3 combined. This will provide a more difficult challenge for the overall winner for both and women, who are used to specializing in a single discipline.

When to watch: Sports Climbing will begin at 4 a.m. ET on Tuesday, August 3, with the event culminating at 4:30 a.m. on Friday, August 6.

Karate

Like Yin and Yang, everything has come full circle as karate will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo, Japan. The sport was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1868, and the disciplines of kata and kumite will be on full display at this year’s games. Karate will not be at the 2024 games, so in a throwback to the first-ever World Karate Championships in 1970, this year’s men’s and women’s competitions will be held at the same venue, the Nippon Budokan.

When to watch?  Karate will take place from 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 4, through 2:45 p.m. ET on Friday, August 6.

Unfortunately, it was recently announced that spectators will be barred from attending the games in Tokyo due to a declared state of emergency. However, cord cutters can find out how to watch the 6 new sports and the rest of the Olympics below. 

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics

The NBC family of networks will be the exclusive home of all the games at this year’s Olympics.

All live coverage will be available to stream on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, with select coverage on Peacock. Cord cutters have more ways than ever with the most popular streaming services carrying the events. 

  • AntennaWeb is a great tool you can use to see what NBC channel is available in your area with an antenna.
  • Locast: Viewers in over 30 markets can watch their local NBC affiliate for free with Locast
  • fuboTV has NBC, USA, NBCSN,  Olympic Channel, and CNBC covered with the fuboTV Family plan for $65/month. NHL Network is available for an additional $11 per month.
  • Hulu with Live also carries NBC, USA, NBCSN, and CNBC for $65/month.
  • AT&T TV includes NBC, USA, NBCSN, CNBC, and Olympic Channel in its Ultimate package for $95/month.
  • YouTube TV includes NBC, USA, NBCSN, Olympic Channel, and CNBC with a $65/month subscription
  • Sling TV includes NBC, USA, and NBCSN in their Sling Blue package for $35/month. CNBC is available to add-on for an additional $6/month. Olympic Channel is also available to add-on for $11/month.