NextGen 2020 - New Sports, Federations

(ATR) Gold medals in Tokyo for surfing, skateboarding, bring the Olympics to the next generation.

(ATR) The Tokyo Olympics host four sports making their Olympic debut, signaling the times are changing.

International Surfing Association President Fernando Aguerre may be riding a wave of popularity for his sport from Tokyo through LA 2028. Beyond Los Angeles will be the next challenge.

World Karate chief Antonio Espinos will continue to lobby for a permanent place on the martial arts menu for the Games while securing karate as a fixture at the continental level.

Sport climbing federation President Marco Maria Scolaris has won spots in Tokyo and Paris just 12 years after the IFSC was formed.

Skateboarding’s likely permanent position in the Olympic program brings an increased presence for World Skate president Sabatino Aracu who must prepare for the growth spurt coming.

World Baseball Softball Confederation secretary general Beng Choo Low is one of the few women at the helm of a major federation. She and colleagues seek a regular place for the bat and ball sports in the Olympics.

Selecting a new president is on the agenda for 2020 for ski federation FIS. Long time leader Gian Franco Kasper will step down. Sarah Lewis, the veteran secretary general and well connected to theOlympic world is a possibility to take charge.

Morinari Watanabe from Japan was named to the IOC in 2018 as president of gymnastics federation FIG. Since then he’s become the de facto head of boxing at the Tokyo Olympics. In his role as chair of the IOC Boxing Task Force, he oversees the competition in the wake of the suspension of federation AIBA.

Esport is still an unknown for the Olympics, with doubts running the gamut from the competition plans to the question of whether it is a sport on the same level as those on the Olympic program. Trying to sort things out is cycling federation chief David Lappartient, who leads efforts on the part of the IOC and the international feds to study the esport phenomenon. Vlad Marinescu, Vice President of the International Esport Federation and president of the United States eSports Federation, is another who is seeking bigger and better for esport.

New faces at the IOC from the IFs include FIFA president Gianni Infantino and tennis fed chief Dave Haggerty. Both take the oath next month.

At the IOC, Sports Director Kit McConnell is emblematic of the younger team of professionals at Olympic House in Lausanne who deal with the changes and challenges creating an Olympics worthy of the attention of the next generations of fans. McConnell’s hosiery choices rock tradition, for sure.

Reported by Ed Hula.