New Japanese Sports for 2020 Olympics

ByMark Guthrie
Mar 22, 2018

New Japanese Sports for 2020 Olympics

An Olympic athlete waits at a starting line

The committee in charge of sports nomination for the 2020 Olympics today announced a raft of new sports and rule changes to give the Japan Games a more local flavor.

“I am every excited to announce today, that the 2020 Olympic Games is gearing up to be the best installment of the games yet,” said Suitachisuke Yongatsu, head of the For Olympic Organization Licensing Sub-committee (FOOLS). “Japan is a nation unlike any other, and to this end we have come to the decision that our sports should reflect this.”

The decision is likely to be contentious within the international sporting community as the changes are likely to heavily favor Japanese participants and some contestants have already voiced their concerns, with Chinese gymnast Sì Yuè Yī Rì, Latvian shot-putter Balandžio Pirmoji and Welsh sprinter Ebrill Gyntaf all making their opinions known on twitter.

2020 Olympic Event Rule Changes:

  • Participants taking part in the 100 meters will be required to wear alternative footwear, with spikes being swapped for wooden geta sandals.
  • The izakaya marathon will replace the regular marathon, with each mile point marked by a Japanese restaurant in which contestants must drink a highball and eat a plate of karaage.
  • Contestants in all cycling events will be required to to ride mamachari bicycles laden down with three bags of groceries and a three year old child on the back. All breaks must squeak deafeningly.
  • Beach volleyball will remain essentially unchanged, except that contestants will have to shout ‘Atsu! Atsu! Atsu!’ each time that they step on the hot sand.
  • All swimming events will be held in specially designed 50m onsen baths. Participants must be naked. Expected to the best spectated event.

2020 Olympic Event New Sports:

  • The ‘subway squeeze’ is a new a sport where teams must fill a subway compartment with as many people as possible.
  • Another new sport is the ‘lunchtime queue’, where contestants must queue outside of a restaurant at lunch time. Current world record holder is Shunsuke Amano, who managed to wait seven months and 14 days outside of a soba restaurant before giving up and going to Sushiro instead.
  • The ‘ojisan’ triathlon is a competition reserved for athletes over 60 years of age. Its three stages include the race to the front of a supermarket queue, the last remaining seat on a train and finally a table in a busy coffee shop. Extra points are awarded for use of elbows and displaying a complete disregard for others around them. Points are deducted for giving way for elderly or pregnant women.


For more information, head to the official IOC website here.


By Mark Guthrie


Image by  (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via (modified)

Image by David Orban (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via (modified)

About the author

Mark Guthrie editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Mark whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves. Find some more of his musings at and on instagram @markguthriewrites