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Skate, Surf, Dance: The NEW Olympic Sports & Young Australians to Watch out For!

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The Olympics are constantly evolving, with new Olympic sports being added to keep the Games fresh and exciting. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics introduced events like skateboarding, surfing, and sport climbing, capturing the interest of younger audiences.

As we look forward to the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympics, even more sports are set to join the lineup, so let’s explore these new additions and celebrate the talented Australian athletes ready to make their mark on the world stage.

Once upon a time…

Would you believe me if I told you there used to be artistic categories in the Olympics? From 1912 to 1948, categories like architecture, poetry, music, drama, painting, and sculpture used to be Olympic sports.

Originally introduced because Ancient Greeks valued a balanced ideal of body and mind, they were discontinued due to several issues.

Artists were often professionals when they were meant to be amateurs, judging art is subjective, which caused disputes between judges, and public interest started to wane. After WWII, the Olympics focused more on sports. Today, the Olympics celebrate art through cultural programs, not competitions.

But every year, new sports are being added, or considered, to bring in new viewers and participants.

New Olympic Sports Added to Line Up

Not Just Athletic Pursuits Anymore

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021, thanks COVID), five additional sports events were added. Street and park skateboarding, surfing, karate, baseball/softball, and sport climbing which included speed climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering.

In 2024, Breakdancing, or Breaking, and Kayak Cross will be added at the Paris Olympics, and at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2028, plans are in place to introduce flag football, lacrosse, squash, motocross/karting (reconsideration), and cricket. Baseball/softball will also be back in 2024 but won’t be in the Olympics this year.

Young Aussies Heading to the Olympics

Who is heading to the games to represent Australia and are any of them participating in these new sports? We’ll have an almost 500-strong team.

For breakdancing at the Olympics, two Aussies are set to compete. Rachael Gunn, a 36-year-old university lecturer known as Raygun, will show her skills in the B-Girl event. Jeff Dunne, a 16-year-old high school student from Casuarina, goes by J Attack and will compete in the B-Boy event. Jeff is not only one of the youngest competitors in the breakdancing category but also among the youngest athletes in this year’s Olympics.

What is breaking breakdancing
Source: Australian Olympic Team

Among the men are Keegan Palmer (21) from Gold Coast, Kieran Woolley (20) from Minnamurra, NSW and Shane O’Neill (34) from Melbourne, VIC QLD, who all competed at Tokyo, and newcomer Keefer Wilson (17) from Nyora, VIC.

Australian Olympic Team new men
Keegan Palmer, Keefer Wilson, Kieren Woolley & Shane O’Neill. Source: Australian Olympic Team

Representing the women are Arisa Trew (14) from Palm Beach, Gold Coast, and Ruby Trew (15) from North Narrabeen, NSW. The two joke they are cousins because they share a surname, but they’re not related. We’ll also get to watch Chloe Covell (14) from Tweed Heads, NSW, Liv Lovelace (20) from Sydney, NSW, and Haylie Powell (18) from Nambour, QLD.

Australian Olympic Team new Women
Arisa Trew, Ruby Trew & Haylie Powell. Source: Australian Olympic Team

At fourteen years and 86 days, Arissa Trew will be the youngest Olympian from Australia, and the youngest in 40 years after swimmer Dimity Douglas, who was fourteen and 27 days old when she competed.˘

what is skateboarding paris olympic games
Source: Australian Olympic Team

Why Are They Adding These Sports?

New sports are added to the Olympics to attract younger viewers and participants. This helps the Games stay exciting for the next generation and brings in more young athletes. By including sports that are trendy with youth, the Olympics can keep its audience engaged and grow the event’s global fan base.

Adding new sports also reflects the global popularity of different activities. It allows the Olympics to showcase sports with big followings worldwide, making the Games more appealing to diverse audiences. Plus, sports that represent the cultural diversity of the host nation, highlight the unique heritage and traditions of different countries. These changes help the Olympics stay modern and relevant in our fast-changing world, ensuring the Games continue celebrating athletic and cultural achievements.

The Olympics aren’t for everyone. You.gov did a survey that revealed one-third of Aussies won’t be watching, with over half revealing their disinterest in the events. This might be why new sports are being considered every Olympics.

Esports, parkour, and mixed-gender events are already being considered for future games. And I know some who would love to see Cheer added as an event.

If only there were an Olympic category for multitasking. Mums would win that for sure.

And who knows, maybe we’ll see artistic events make a comeback. I’d tune in for a spoken word competition, and I could win a medal for book reading.

 

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Avatar of Tina Evans

Tina Evans is a complete introvert, an avid reader of romance novels, horror novels and psychological thrillers. She’s a writer, movie viewer, and manager of the house menagerie: three kelpies, one cat, a fish, and a snake. She loves baking and cooking and using her kids as guinea pigs. She was a teenage parent and has learned a lot in twenty-three years of parenting. Tina loves Christmas and would love to experience a white Christmas once in her life. Aside from writing romance novels, she is passionate about feminism, equality, sci-fi, action movies and doing her part to help the planet.

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