The new Olympic sports we’ll be watching

After a long build-up the Tokyo Olympics are finally here, and what great timing as we are all at home with plenty of time to watch.  The good news for us is Tokyo is only an hour behind Sydney so we can watch all the action in prime time.

Here are some of the sports you may not have known existed and when you can watch them.


Taking place at the Tsurigasaki Surf Beach on the Pacific Ocean about 95kms outside of Tokyo.  With lots of Australian talent to watch including Julian Wilson and Owen Wright in the men’s and Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons in the women’s, this is sure to be an exciting event. This surfing is scheduled to start this Sunday 25th July at 7.55am if the swell conditions are ok.


Skateboarding will include two events: street skating and park skating. In street skating athletes will compete on a ‘street-like’ course featuring stairs, handrails, curbs, benches, walls and slopes. Each skateboarder will perform their skills or tricks with judging based on the difficulty and execution of the moves.

Park skating will take place on a hollowed-out course featuring large dishes and dome-shaped bowls. Skaters are judged on the difficulty and execution of their moves in the ramp.

Australia has 5 skaters competing in Tokyo including former world champion Shane O’Neill and 21 year old National Women’s Bowl Riding champion Poppy Olsen. Skating starts this Sunday July 25th at 9.25am.

Sport Climbing

We suspect some of our kids climbing the walls at home would be good at this sport. These athletes will compete in all three events including bouldering, lead and speed climbing.

  • Bouldering is when the athletes move across difficult routes of artificial rocks on a 4.5 metre wall within a specified time.
  • Lead climbing is when athletes attempt to climb as high as they can on a wall measuring 15 metres in height in a specified time.
  • And our personal favourite is speed climbing where two athletes race up a 15-metre wall as quickly as they can.

The Australian athletes to watch are Melbourne’s 18 year old Oceana Mackenzie and 28 year old Tom O’Halloran from Blackheath NSW. Sport climbing starts on Tuesday 3rd August at 6pm.


Karate originated in Japan so it’s quite fitting this sport is making its debut in Tokyo. The Karate competition consists of Kata where competitors demonstrate their form, from 102 approved offensive and defensive movements. Or Kumite which is sparring against a competitor on an 8m x 8m mat.

We’ll be watching Australia’s Tsuneari Yahiro compete in the men’s kumite event. Starting 5th August at 10.55am.


This isn’t officially a ‘new’ sport as it was first made a medal event at the 1992 Barcelona games before it was removed after 2008 in Beijing. While we don’t have an Australian team competing Japan is the one to watch, with the nation’s Nippon league considered the world’s second-biggest behind the USA’s Major League baseball.


Softball was included as a medal event in Atlanta 1996, but just like baseball this was removed after Beijing. In this female only event, Australia is competing in a round-robin playoff against the USA, Japan, Italy, Mexico, and Canada. Our Australian team has previously seen success in this sport winning Bronze in 1996, 2000, and 2008 and a Silver in 2004.

Click here for the full Olympic schedule and when you can watch each sport.