A Brief Guide to Every Sport at the Olympics

Thirty-three sports activities. Three hundred and thirty-nine occasions. And roughly 5,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals in ready.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics (sure, the Games are nonetheless being referred to as 2020) are scheduled to proceed on July 23, with a number of preliminary occasions on July 21 and 22.

Here’s the lowdown on each sport, together with the Olympic debuts of browsing, skateboarding, karate and sport climbing.


It’s a bit of totally different than at summer time camp: The archers strive to hit a bull’s-eye that’s about the dimension of a grapefruit from 70 meters away. South Korea is the dominant group and has received all eight girls’s group gold medals since the occasion was added in 1988. Brady Ellison of the United States, who has two silver medals and a bronze in his profession, shall be aiming for his fourth Olympics.

The sport was previously referred to as synchronized swimming. Russia has been the prime group for a few years. Although coed duet competitors has been added at the world championships, the Olympics remains to be for ladies solely.


This sport of rackets and shuttlecocks is dominated by Asian nations: 32 of 34 golds in historical past have been received by that continent. Indonesia, a nation of 270 million, has received seven Olympic gold medals, all of them in badminton — the sport is part of the national identity.


Both competitions are returning for the first time since 2008. Cuba has made the remaining in all 5 Olympic baseball tournaments. The United States has received three of 4 softball golds. Major League Baseball gamers, in any other case occupied, won’t be taking part in the event.


The American males have received six of the seven gold medals since professionals began enjoying on the Olympic group in 1992. The U.S. girls have received eight of the final 9 golds.

Three-on-three basketball for women and men has been added this 12 months. The United States males and the Chinese girls are the reigning World Cup champions in that sport. The American males’s group for qualifying occasions has consisted of gamers from the G League and European leagues. The American girls have been WNBA gamers.


The girls’s competitors has expanded to 5 weight courses, from three. Russia and former Soviet nations like Uzbekistan have been at the prime of the sport lately.


Canoers use a one-bladed paddle and kneel in the boat. Kayakers use a two-bladed paddle and sit. The canoe dash takes place over a flat, straight, calm course. In canoe slalom, paddlers snake by way of gates in river rapids. In 2019, Nevin Harrison turned the first American to win gold in the world championship canoe dash. Conveniently, her occasion is being added for ladies to the Tokyo Olympics.


The sport has 4 separate disciplines at the Olympics. In street biking, the similar riders who contest the Tour de France compete. In observe biking, riders race round a banked oval at excessive speeds; new this 12 months is the Madison, a form of tag-team race for 2 riders. In BMX, riders race over a fast, bumpy course or carry out tips in the new freestyle competitors. In mountain biking, riders traverse a protracted, hilly cross-country course.


China received seven of eight gold medals at the final Games. David Boudia of the United States, with 4 medals over three Olympics, remains to be going robust.

There are three varieties of equestrian competitions at the Games. Dressage is nearly like dancing on horseback, as riders are judged on exact actions by their mounts. In leaping, horses clear excessive hurdles. Eventing contains each dressage and leaping, and in addition provides a grueling cross-country race over hurdles.


There are three various kinds of swords. The foil is a light-weight thrusting weapon, and hits might be made solely on the opponent’s torso. The épée is heavier, and hits might be made wherever. The saber is the most distinct: It is a slicing weapon, and hits might be made with any a part of the sword, not simply the tip. While Mariel Zagunis, 36, who remains to be energetic, received girls’s gold medals in 2004 and 2008, no American man has received since 1904.


European groups, plus Argentina and Australia, have been tops at this sport. The American girls, surprisingly, and the American males, unsurprisingly, didn’t qualify. .


Many of the prime gamers in the world will compete at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. Justin Rose of Britain and Inbee Park of South Korea received 4 years in the past in the sport’s return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence.


With the retirements of the American swimmer Michael Phelps and the Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, Simone Biles could also be the most seen athlete at the Games. The winner of 4 golds in 2016, she could have an opportunity at six this 12 months, in the group occasion, particular person all-around, and 4 equipment finals.

Judo, a martial artwork targeted on grappling, offers a terrific medal-winning alternative for the host nation. Japan traditionally has greater than double the golds of the subsequent closest nation, and in addition had the most golds at the 2016 Games. The heavyweight Teddy Riner of France shall be going for a 3rd straight gold medal and fourth straight medal over all. A coed group occasion has been added this 12 months.

8 Golds

Karate debuts at this Olympics. There shall be six gold medals awarded in kumite, by which athletes spar towards an opponent, and two in kata, a solo occasion by which judges consider rivals’ stances and actions. Japan received the most medals at the newest world championships.


It is a unusual sport that was invented for the 1912 Games in Stockholm. Athletes compete in swimming, fencing, equestrian leaping and a mixed pistol capturing and working occasion, all in someday. Though the sport is hardly “modern,” its identify comes as a result of it’s newer than the pentathlon of the historic Greeks. The United States has received six silver medals on this sport, however by no means a gold.


In this women-only occasion, each particular person athletes and groups of 5 carry out with balls, hoops, golf equipment and ribbons. One piece of kit is omitted every Games: This time the rope shall be overlooked.


There are two varieties of boats. In sculling, rowers have two oars every. In sweep rowing, every rower has only one oar. The American girls’s eight has received three straight Olympic gold medals, however completed third at the final world championships behind New Zealand and Australia.


At the Olympics, rugby is performed with seven gamers on either side in a quick, free-flowing model of the sport. Fiji received the inaugural males’s occasion in 2016, its first medal of any variety at any Games. Australia received the girls’s occasion.


There are occasions for rifle, pistol and shotgun. Three coed group occasions have been added this 12 months. A dwell pigeon capturing occasion held in 1900 didn’t return, and that competitors is now thought of unofficial.

4 Golds

In this judged occasion making its Olympic debut, gold medals shall be out there in road and park disciplines. The road area is designed to simulate a metropolis road, with stairs, railings and benches for performing tips. The different occasion resembles a neighborhood skate park, with deep bowls and curves to negotiate, establishing midair tips.


The greatest girls in the world shall be at the Games, together with the World Cup-winning Americans. The U.S. males failed to qualify for a 3rd Games in a row. The males’s competitors is usually restricted to gamers underneath 24. Still, the historic roster of gold medalists contains huge names like Lev Yashin (U.S.S.R.), Pep Guardiola (Spain), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Neymar (Brazil).

2 Golds

Each competitor shall be examined in three separate disciplines on this debut sport. Their mixed efficiency will decide who wins the medals. In velocity climbing, athletes race up a wall as quick as attainable, often in lower than 10 seconds. Lead climbing relies on how far up a difficult wall rivals can go earlier than they fall. In bouldering, rivals climb with out ropes or harnesses.

2 Golds

The Olympic debut for browsing shall be held in the comparatively tame waves off Chiba, Japan. Many of the greatest athletes from the World Surf League shall be available, however the browsing legend Kelly Slater, 49, barely missed qualifying.

Numerous stars ought to make for a compelling meet. Among the Americans contingent is Simone Manuel in the freestyle sprints, Katie Ledecky at lengthy distance, Lilly King in the breaststroke and Caeleb Dressel in freestyle and butterfly. Also anticipated to be returning to the pool are Katinka Hosszu of Hungary and Daiya Seto, the host nation’s prime hope for a medal, in the particular person medleys.

In the relays, prepare for one more spherical of the Americans versus the Australians. Plus, there’s marathon swimming at the Odaiba Marine Park.


Don’t anticipate too many surprises: China has received each gold medal on this sport in every of the final three Olympics.


This punching and kicking fight sport has been dominated by South Korea and China. But many nations have prime contenders: In 2016, athletes from Ivory Coast, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Thailand, Niger and the Dominican Republic all received medals.


It’s not the American model of handball, involving bouncing a ball off a wall. Instead it’s a fast-paced group sport, one thing like indoor soccer, however with gamers throwing the ball at the purpose. The American women and men didn’t qualify. European groups, and maybe the South Korean girls, will vie for gold.


The huge stars shall be available, however the tournaments can yield surprises. Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all have Olympic gold medals. But so does Jack Sock.


Usain Bolt might have retired, however observe, which the Olympics refers to as “athletics,” will nonetheless be a marquee occasion. International stars anticipated to be available embrace Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica in the sprints, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands in the center distances, and Armand Duplantis of Sweden in the pole vault.

The robust American contingent might embrace Noah Lyles in the sprints, Donavan Brazier at 800 meters, Christian Taylor in the triple leap, Dalilah Muhammad in the 400 hurdles and the ageless Allyson Felix in the 200 in what could be her fifth Games.

The marathons and race strolling have been moved to Sapporo, Japan, the place it’s anticipated to be cooler than Tokyo.


China and host Japan shall be the favorites to bounce their manner to gold. It’s a high-pressure occasion: After a number of warm-up bounces, the rivals should consecutively carry out 10 tips and not using a break.

three GOLDS

The two-hour swim, cycle and run is grueling, though not as a lot in order the eight-hour Ironman race in Hawaii. Besides the males’s and girls’s races, there shall be a coed relay this 12 months.

In indoor volleyball, a six-a-side sport, the United States shall be hoping for a medal in each the males’s and girls’s occasions. The different contenders come from practically each continent: On the males’s facet, they embrace Poland and Brazil; on the girls’s facet, China and Serbia. In seaside volleyball, for groups of two, April Ross of the United States has a silver and a bronze in the final two Games and shall be trying to full the set after turning 39 in June, this time with Alix Klineman as her accomplice.


The U.S. girls’s group has been absurdly dominant, profitable the final two Olympic golds and the final three world championships with ease. Teams from Europe ought to dominate on the males’s facet.


Sarah Robles received a bronze medal in the prime weight class in Rio, the first weight lifting medal for the United States since 2000. Since then she has received a world championship and will contend once more.


In freestyle wrestling, the variety most acquainted to Americans, the United States has a number of gold medal candidates amongst women and men. In Greco-Roman wrestling, a men-only occasion by which all holds should be above the waist, the United States just isn’t anticipated to contend.


There shall be competitors in a number of sorts of boats. The RS:X is a sailboard, the Laser and Finn are one-person dinghies, the 470 is a two-person dinghy, the 49er is a skiff, and the Nacra 17 is a multihull catamaran. Wealthier nations situated on the water like Australia, New Zealand and people in Western Europe have a tendency to carry out greatest. But Croatia did win a 2016 gold.

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