The 2020 Olympic Games have begun and this year we are seeing a handful of new sports included in the international competition to see which countries can take home the most gold medals.
A total of 4 new sports are the latest additions to the Olympics - the newest since 1920 - including, skateboarding, surfing, karate, and sport climbing. Fernando Aguerre, president of the International Surfing Association says that, “The Olympics are the highest, largest, most visible stage for any sport. Surfing being in the Olympic Games will be great for surfing. We’ll be allowed to communicate our message and our lifestyle to billions of people."
And he's right, as having any sport be presented on the world stage would definitely bring it into a larger light and let the rest of the world take the sport more seriously now that it is represented on a national level. This seems like the very boost kendama could use so it can attain a wider audience.
In order to become an official sport to qualify for the Olympic Games, it must be recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to the sport's national, regional, and international organizations that have been supporting it.
It is a bureaucrat journey, not a democratic one, so no matter how many people sign your petition to allow kendama into the 2024 Olympic Games, you better have some sweet connections with the IOC. Kendama does however meet some of the IOC's criteria. Such as multiple countries need to love the sport, giving it an athlete and audience base. And with the organizational efforts of different companies hosting regional and nation competitions, it seems like kendama is on the right track to eventually be included.
Also, the IOC uses it's Youth Olympics to try out new and emerging events that may one day be included into the official Olympics as not only the sport grows over time, but so do its athletes. For example, Breakdancing will be debuted in 2024 after a trial run in 2018 at the Youth Olympics in Argentina. So perhaps kendama will need to be tested at the Youth Olympics before it can be leveled up to the real deal.
It seems to us that it is only a matter of time until kendama makes its Olympic debut. With more organization, players, and time, kendama can be regulated and managed like any other competition out there, so it doesn't seem completely impossible. I mean, can you imagine? Liam Rauter or Alex Mitchel winning Gold Medals in kendama for the USA? How epic would that be!?