SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - We will be seeing new, more mainstream sports in the summer Olympics, as five sports -- skateboarding, surfing, karate, sports climbing, and baseball/softball -- have been added to the list for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The International Olympic Committee officials say they chose the sports in hopes of attracting a younger audience to the summer games.
Some of the sports are really popular here on the Central Coast.
Local skateboarders and surfers are excited about what the decision will do for their sports.
"It's just another way for the world to see skateboarding because lots of people used to look down on it. And it could be a step for the better. But as things are going these days, skateboarding is going in a more positive direction as it is, so yeah, it's definitely going to hit it positively I think," said skater George Zavitsanos.
"It just brings up another status that these guys aren't just a bunch of surf bums or beach bums, and it's legitimate that people have goals to go and reach and actually go to the Olympics," said Kelly Sorensen, owner of Own the Beach Surf Shop.
The inclusion of the new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes, with equal numbers of women and men for all sports except baseball/softball, which will have the same number of teams but different player totals.
The five new sports will debut in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, giving the United States plenty of time to find their new star athletes to represent the red, white, and blue.
ORIGINAL POST: Central Coast surfers and skateboarders can now dream of Olympic glory.
The International Olympic Committee announced the addition of five sports to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday. In addition to surfing and skateboard, the IOC added baseball/softball, karate, and sports climbing.
KION's Matt Sizemore will have reaction from local surfers and skateboarders tonight.