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Twelve new sports have been added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Programme and will significantly boost New Zealand’s medal chances, announced the NZOC this morning.

Today's decision follows an uptake in the new sports since much of the world’s Olympic athletes were forced into isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO said she was delighted to confirm the inclusion of the new sports. “Usually a new Olympic Sport takes many years to be confirmed, but we’re living in unprecedented times. “ISO Sports” are set to inspire New Zealanders, just as those traditionally contested at Olympic Games do.

“Kiwi athletes are already leading the way in these ground-breaking events and we expect to see this translate into even more exceptional Olympic performances in Tokyo next year.

“We hope this announcement will bring a smile to Kiwis faces this morning, even as we go through these tough times together.”

The new sports are:
Erg Rowing (2K)
Bench Press
Indoor Obstacle Course
5m Stair Sprint
100m Watt Bike
Backyard Trampolining
20m Car Pull
20m Lawnmower Push
50m Piggyback
Fence Building
Double Push Up
Volley Roll (volleyball with toilet paper as the ball)

The addition of the ISO sports has really opened up the field of play to the New Zealand Team, prompting a potential change of focus for some athletes.

Black Ferns player Ruby Tui is one of those facing a tough decision as she’s forced to choose which sporting discipline to contest at the Tokyo Games.

Tui recently took to Instagram to share with her followers her new sporting venture and passion of fence building.

"Constructing a fence is challenging! There are a lot of parts which need to be considered when constructing a sturdy design," Tui said.

“I do think it might be my true calling though. The fast hands that I’ve picked up on the rugby field are really helpful for juggling the hammer and nails, and I can move really quickly around the yard while dodging the ladder, timber and all the other tools needed to make a sturdy fence.”

The multidisciplinary athlete is not alone, as other team New Zealand athletes are faced with the difficult decision to represent the fern in something new or stick to something tried and true.

For some more information on this morning’s announcement and its background, check out the attached video.

Release Date: 1st April, 2020


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