LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Olympics Shift: IOC Doubles Number Of Mixed-Gender Events, Adds 5 Sports

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says new changes will boost female participation in the Olympics and attract young, urban viewers. He is seen here last fall, with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike (right) and an interpreter.

Women and men will compete together in mixed relays at the next Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee says, announcing a slate of changes for Tokyo 2020. The IOC says it will get close to gender balance among Olympic athletes, boosting women to nearly 49 percent, from 45.6 percent in Rio.

The Tokyo Games will feature 18 mixed events, up from nine at the Rio Olympics. The IOC's executive board approved the new event program for Tokyo at its meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, Friday.

Both swimming and track will hold mixed relays, as well as a triathlon team relay; other sports will also allow national sporting federations to blend their male and female athletes, from mixed doubles in table tennis to team events in sports such as judo, cycling and fencing.

Arriving along with five new sports, the shifts represent what IOC President Thomas Bach is calling "a step-change in the Olympic program."

The changes are part of a plan to attract younger viewers. The new sports include surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, karate, baseball and softball. Existing sports will add new competitions, such as 3-on-3 basketball.

"I am delighted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be more youthful, more urban and will include more women," Bach said.

To rebalance the gender participation rates, the IOC shifted a number of men's events, reclassifying them as either women's or mixed. Both the canoe and shooting sports saw three events transferred from men to women.

For the U.S. team, women have outnumbered men in the past two Summer Olympics — in Rio, the margin was 292 to 263, and the women won 61 medals, compared with 55 for the men.

The IOC's moves will also have other effects. While they will bring an overall increase of 15 events, the board also cut athletes' quotas in a variety of sports, for a net loss of 285 athletes.

The biggest cut hit one of the biggest sports: Athletics, which includes track and field, will have 105 fewer athletes in Tokyo. Weightlifting will lose 64 athletes, while wrestling will lose 56.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org