Climbing Gets Second Chance at 2020 Olympics

Kevin Corrigan
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5/22/15 - The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee has announced its shortlist of events to be considered for the 2020 Olympic games. Climbing, along with seven other sports, made the cut, down from the original list of  26 that applied.

Climbing Gets Second Chance at 2020 Olympics

If this sounds familiar, it's because climbing already went through a similar selection process for the 2020 games, but was passed over in a 2013 decision. Last year the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president introduced reforms that allow the host city to add one or more additional sports that are already popular in their country to increase ratings and sponsorship opportunities. As a result, climbing is among those being reconsidered.

According to the International Federation of Sport Climbers' (IFSC) proposal, climbers would have to compete in three disciplines: sport, bouldering, and speed. The events would take place over four days, and a final ranking would be determined from the combined results of all three disciplines using a simple points system. One medal each would be awarded to the best male and female competitor with the best combined score. The full proposal from the IFSC, as well as the reports from the other sports being considered, can be read in the 2020 Olympic Games Shortlisted International Federations Report (pdf).

The other sports to make the short list were baseball/softball, bowling, karate, roller sports, squash, surfing, and wushu. Baseball, which hasn't been an Olympic event since 2008, is considered the frontrunner due to its popularity in Japan. Among the sports that did not make the initial cut: American football, billiards, bridge, orienteering, sumo, and tug of war.

Next steps: Federations from each sport will present to the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee in August. The Tokyo committee will make their decision in September, and then make a recommendation to the IOC. The final decision from the IOC will be announced in August 2016.

Sources:,, IFSC