tokyo 2020 olympics

Tokyo Olympics struggle for youth appeal despite new sports

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By Shingo ITO

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13-year-old Momiji Nishiya became the nation's youngest Olympic champion with victory in the women's event.

And Japan once again struck gold, with Sakura Yosozumi taking the women's park top spot next to teammate Kokona Hiraki, 12, with silver.

Age restrictions have been implemented in some Olympic sports, like the age of 16 for gymnastics. Should there be discussion about a uniform age restriction across all sports?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hiroto Inoue, a 21-year-old university student, said the Olympics doesn't engage him on issues that are important to him, like the environment.

"I'm not paying much attention to watching the Olympics," he told AFP. "I'm focusing on a business forum about the environment that I'm hosting in late August."

This young man sounds dangerously inquisitive and ambitious. We must act quickly and transform him into a proper citizen, who drinks beer, watches baseball, and votes LDP (if he votes at all).

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Remember when the Olympics used to be only amateurs and they were all adults and not kids?

I miss the real Olympics. Watching professionals and kids is not my thing. Sorry to offend those that disagree.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Good grief, Japanese 13 year olds aren't interested in horsey horsey trot trot or metal ball throw? Who could possibly have imagined that?

Many young Japanese do not have a similar bond with the Olympics, he added.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Good grief, Japanese 13 year olds aren't interested in horsey horsey trot trot or metal ball throw? Who could possibly have imagined that?

There's still a chance to get them into sweaty-embrace-grapple. Japanese women tend to do well in that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm baffled as to why Japan is suddenly a skateboarding superpower. I see hardly any boarders here on the streets, dedicated parks are extremely rare and most regular parks take a hard-core stance against them.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

maybe they should introduce playing video games or watching YouTube as Olympic events.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Kids in Japan hardly have any free time to pursue interests outside of school or cram school. No wonder...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's just a big circus. I'm surprised so many older people are into it

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am surprise that they expected it to be anything else. The olympic is suppose to have all kind of sports and there is always at least 1 sport in it that could get your attention. Nobody would watch the entire olympic anyway nor has time for that. Most just focus on their favorite sport or athlete and cheer for it.

The most watch matches are probably the baseball ones. Baseball is extremely popular here in Japan because we all use to play it as a kid. Then football and basketball.

Most other sport are either too intensive as a hobby or too costly. And skateboarding is not a sport that most parents like to recommend to their kids. You can easily get injured and break a few bones. Even Sky Brown had a fracture skull, broken wrist and hand last year due to a fall. I rather by my kid a badminton racket than a skateboard.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The viewership of the Olympics is down 50% in the US.

It has nothing to do with the premises made in this article.

People have better things to do than to watch the Glorified Sports Day in Benefit of the IOC.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Tokyo Olympics struggle for youth appeal despite new sports

With the birth rate as low as it is in here, it seems like most of the youths in Japan are actually competing and winning medals in these olympics!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Tristis,

Good post.

I enjoyed that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The viewership of the Olympics is down 50% in the US.

Best news I've heard all day. That will drive Bach up the wall.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

According to my daughter and Son, it seems the only thing about the Olympics that is of any interest to the youth are the silly twitter and Instagram posts by foreign reporters and Athletes.

There is a whole group of accounts dedicated to retweeting their silly adventures and problems providing Japanese translation and subtitles.

None are talking about the games, it seems way more interesting to watch a CBC reporter struggle to figure out how to properly open a convenience store onigiri or watch a German reporter trying to figure out what to do with a "washlet".

A have to admit she showed me some and they are hilarious.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

According to my daughter and Son, it seems the only thing about the Olympics that is of any interest to the youth are the silly twitter and Instagram posts by foreign reporters and Athletes.

Figures. This isn't necessarily a reflection on the intelligence (of lack of) of the younger generation, but this is the era of the ten second attention span. Anything that takes more time than that to consume doesn't have much of a chance.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I'm baffled as to why Japan is suddenly a skateboarding superpower. I see hardly any boarders here on the streets, dedicated parks are extremely rare and most regular parks take a hard-core stance against them.

Probably because Olympic skateboarding is the otaku version of skateboarding that can only be mastered by extensive practice of points-scoring tricks in purpose-built facilities. Since Japan is an otaku country, those facilities do exist if you look for them with otaku dedication.

It makes no difference whether you have a population of zero kids cruising around neighbourhoods listening to the Beasties or trying to nollie on a half-broken board with bent trucks they got off their older brother, because those things don't score points and get medals.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My own kids 9 and 13 have watched little of the Olympics. My son does volleyball five times a week, but doesn't watch it on tv.

If young people aren't watching, it's a very expensive epic fail to host them in order to "inspire the youth".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Each year when they test school kids for physical prowess; the average results show that they jump lower, throw balls shorter distances, and run slower.

5 days a week of cramming school, nights in front of the TV, and sessions on their playstation or gameboy do not encourage or develop much athletic ability, and few develop the perseverance to get past the 'can't do it' stage, without pushy mums and dads or teachers to drive them on.

The sempai-kohai relationship in many school teams where the younger kids fetch and carry for the seniors, ostensibly to learn from them, but who treat them poorly also discourages them.

But in spite of these challenges, a few develop exceptionally, with support of schools, parents, family and other organisations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo Olympics struggle for youth appeal despite new sports

Good. Young people are a lot smarter than older people give them credit for.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

a) age restriction

b) if you want to attract the attention of younger generations, you need to make it more attractive. A bunch of male gerontocrats in charge certainly won't do the advertising. Nobody cares about that today.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Jeff Lee.

Japan is not a skateboarfing super power, not even close.

There are good Japanese skaters, and Yuto san is respected on the international scene but the reason they look so strong at the olympics is purely because of the heat.

Nobody skates in the heat of the day, world class skaters these days typically skate in giant warehouses, skating at night is very popular in summer to avoid the heat of the day.

The Japanese skaters obviously trained in the heat and won medals for being good skaters with olympic level heat tolerance.

I posted before that we would see very different results if the events were held at night time but mods deleted the comment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

IOC: Please, please, please, watch our sportballz

Youngsters: Nah, it'll be fine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tokyo Olympics struggle for youth appeal

They should try to put Olympic news on a test or in the homework.

Then kids would have to pay attention and study it for hours in a day.

What do you expect when you make kids go to school 6 days a week, give them 6 hours of homework every night, and on top of that, weekly tests?

It’s a wonder they even have time to watch a YouTube video or play a round of Mindcraft.

You think they’re gonna watch 3 hours of raw skateboarding video on demand on the NHK website? Or 6 hours of raw feed from surfing?

NHK is so lazy, they can’t even edit their videos.

if it isn’t under 45 seconds on a social media site, forget about it. No one is paying attention.

But I digress, Japan can’t even let the youth be youth, how are they expected to enjoy anything?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are good Japanese skaters, and Yuto san is respected on the international scene but the reason they look so strong at the olympics is purely because of the heat.

Nobody skates in the heat of the day, world class skaters these days typically skate in giant warehouses, skating at night is very popular in summer to avoid the heat of the day.

You are wrong if you think that the only achievements of Japanese skaters is this olympics. Yuto, Nishiya, Sakura, Kokona, Aori Nakamura are all extremely well respected outside of Japan even prior to the olympics. All of them did finish either as winners or runner-ups in various competitions around the world, not just in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nobody skates in the heat of the day, world class skaters these days typically skate in giant warehouses, skating at night is very popular in summer to avoid the heat of the day.

What makes you think that it's different in Japan? given the no skateboarding signs around the city.

The Japanese skaters obviously trained in the heat and won medals for being good skaters with olympic level heat tolerance.

The most ridiculous sentence I've ever read.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I question the findings of this topic considering the amount of interests sparked by this Olympics, as seen in all social media, and in outdoor environment, you always see pack of people going out to see.

Chinese kids are inspired by this, and I doubt the japanese kids would not see their national athletes' achievements.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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