What does it take for a sport to be included in Olympics?

Five new sports -- Baseball/Softball, Skateboarding, Surfing, Sport Climbing and Karate -- were added to the Tokyo Olympics' list from the 2016 Rio Games.

A sport must be practised by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents and by women in no fewer than 40 countries and on three continents to be eligible for inclusion at the Olympic Games.   -  REUTERS (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

After being postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics will finally begin this month. The opening ceremony will be held on July 23, and the closing ceremony on August 8.

Tokyo will host the quadrennial spectacle for the second time after the 1964 edition. Over a thousand gold, silver and bronze medals will be up for grabs across various sports.

The 2021 Games will feature 33 different sports, which will include 339 events in total. Five new sports -- Baseball/Softball, Skateboarding, Surfing, Sport Climbing and Karate -- were added to the list from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

- HERE'S HOW A NEW SPORT IS ADDED TO THE OLYMPICS -

An Olympic-level sport must be governed by an International Federation that follows the rules drafted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The respective sport must also be practised worldwide and meet several other criteria.

The organisation in charge of the sport must establish a proper Anti-Doping Code, by carrying out regular testing during and outside competitions. The sporting federation must then file a petition to the IOC justifying its inclusion in the Olympics.

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According to the IOC's Olympic Charter, a sport must be practised by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents and by women in no fewer than 40 countries and on three continents to be eligible for inclusion.

An Olympic sport should also be a physical one, which is why Chess has not been included yet despite being played in many countries. Machine-based or motorised sports are not recognised by the IOC as well, effectively ruling out Motorsport's chances of inclusion.

Finally, the IOC's Executive Board may recommend that a specific sport, which satisfies all the criteria mentioned in the Olympic Charter, can be added to the Olympics structure during a future edition. If the IOC Session approves it, then the sport will be part of the Games Programme.

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