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Yoga In 2036 Olympic Games? How A New Sport Can Be Included In IOC Programme - Explained

India will reportedly seek the inclusion of yoga, kabaddi, kho kho, T20 cricket, chess and squash in the 2036 Olympic Games programme. Let us understand the process and criteria for the addition of a new sport in the hallowed quadrennial event

International Yoga Day 2024 in Kashmir, AP photo
Cadets from the National Cadet Corps practise yoga to mark International Yoga Day 2024 in Srinagar on Friday, June 21. Photo: AP/Dar Yasin

The list of sports featuring at the Olympic Games is a dynamic, ever-evolving one. At every edition, one or the other discipline is new and hitherto unheard of for many. What explains this? (More Sports News)

Bid To Raise Games' Popularity

With the endeavour to enhance the popularity of the Olympic Games (post the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020), the organising committee of a particular edition is allowed to propose the inclusion of one or more new sports, as per the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s rules.

The sports proposed are usually the ones popular in that specific region. For instance, karate, surfing, sports climbing and skateboarding all made their Olympic debuts at the Tokyo 2020 Games, while Paris has welcomed breaking (commonly known as breakdancing) and Los Angeles has included flag football.

India, which has formally announced its interest in hosting the 2036 Olympic Games, will seek the inclusion of yoga, kabaddi and kho kho in the sports programme of that edition, according to an Indian Express report. Yoga, kabaddi and kho kho are among the six sports that the Union sports ministry's 'Mission Olympics Cell' (MOC) recommends to be made part of the 2036 Olympics roster. The other three are T20 cricket, chess and squash.

Criteria For Inclusion

Whether or not a sport will be included depends on five factors that are split into 35 criteria. The criteria include how much value the sport would add to the Olympics legacy; how long the sport has existed; how popular the sport is in the host country; how much it would cost to broadcast the events, and numerous other such elements.

The bare minimum requirement for a sport to be eligible is that it should be governed by an international federation that is recognised by the IOC. This is needed in order to conform to the rules of the Olympic charter, the World Anti-Doping Code as well as the Olympic Movement Code on the prevention of manipulation of competitions.