These Chicago-area athletes to compete in sports never played before at the Olympics – NBC Chicago

The Tokyo Olympics will be bigger than ever as organizers introduce 15 new medal events for a total of 339.

The new events will feature a number of athletes with local ties, allowing fans of the Midwestern Olympics to look forward to and encourage more competition.

New to the Tokyo Olympics are baseball, softball, skateboarding, surfing, rock climbing, karate, 3×3 basketball, cycling: BMX freestyle and seven mixed team events.

Here’s a look at the Chicago-area competitors who are already making Olympic history:


  • After being withdrawn from the Olympics in 2008, baseball returned to Tokyo. Six countries, including the United States, will participate in popular Japanese sport.
  • Local athletes include:
    • Tim Federowicz, former Chicago Cubs wide receiver
    • Todd Frazier, former Chicago White Sox third baseman
    • Edwin Jackson, former Cubs and White Sox pitcher
    • David Robertson, former White Sox pitcher

Soft ball :

  • Like baseball, softball was withdrawn from the Olympic Games in 2008 and will only be played during the Tokyo Games. Japan, Australia, Italy, Mexico and Canada will join the United States in the tournament.
  • Local athletes include:
    • Amanda Chidester of Allen Park, Michigan and Chicago Bandits catcher

Basket 3×3:

  • Men’s and women’s 3v3 Olympic basketball will be introduced this year. Different from traditional 5×5 basketball games, 3×3 is played on a half court and the score consists of 1 and 2 points. Each game ends in 10 minutes or once a team reaches 21 points. The size of the full roster is four players for a team, with one substitute on the bench.
  • Local athletes include:
    • Chicago Sky basketball player Stefanie Dolson

Cycling: BMX freestyle:

  • BMX Freestyle was added to the cycling program, making its debut at the Tokyo Games. Riders will be graded on the execution and difficulty of their figures. There will be a race for men and women.
  • Local athletes include:
    • Hannah Roberts from South Bend, Indiana

Mixed team events: Seven sports will launch new mixed team events with men and women. New mixed sports include swimming, track and field, archery, judo, shooting, table tennis and triathlon.

  • Swimming: The 4x100m medley relay will feature teams of two men and two women from each country participating in a relay.
    • The U.S. mixed team has yet to be named, but could include several local swimmers.
  • Triathlon: A mixed team relay will feature teams of four (female-male-female-male in that order) with each athlete completing a shorter version of a triathlon known as a super sprint before scoring their next teammate.
    • Local triathletes who could compete on the team include:
      • Kevin McDowell from Geneva, Illinois

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