When karate makes its Olympic Games debut on Thursday, it will not just be the competitors out to prove themselves on the world’s biggest sporting stage.
The ancient Japanese martial art itself will get a long-awaited shot at persuading a global audience that it belongs in the Olympics after being snubbed three times in the past – and by the Paris 2024 organizers as well.
Japanese martial art has been snubbed three times in the past and will not be part of Paris 2024, despite its popularity in France
Karate was initially ruled out for Tokyo 2020, but its spot was secured thanks to a new “Olympic Agenda 2020” provision that allows the host nations to propose a number of sports.
The three-day karate program will see some 80 competitors from 35 countries and territories – plus the Refugee Olympic Team – vying for eight gold medals at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo.