The International Olympic Committee's Executive Board announced on Friday it will include 3-on-3 basketball as part of the Olympic program starting with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. BMX freestyle cycling also will be added as part of the committee's overarching effort to appeal to a younger, more urban audience.
Swimming will add a men's 800-meter freestyle, women's 1,500 freestyle and a 4×100 mixed medley relay, track cycling is adding men's and women's madison races and track and field will add a 4×400 mixed relay.
This is in addition to the committee's decision to include sports climbing, skateboarding, surfing, baseball, softball and karate in the Tokyo program last August.
"We want to take sport to the youth," International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in a statement. "With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them. Tokyo 2020's balanced proposal fulfills all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games."
The new sports will add 18 events and 474 athletes, and further the IOC's goal to establish gender balance in both athletes and events. The IOC expects women to account for 48.8 percent of the athletes.
"I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women," Bach added.
Overall, the Games will see a net increase of 15 gold medals - possibly made out of recycled cellphones - for a 321-event program.
The new additions do come at a price - the IOC eliminated 285 athlete places found in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro with track and field losing nearly half those spots (105). Also losing athlete places are weightlifting (64), wrestling (56), sailing (30), shooting (30) and swimming (22).