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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

Tokyo 2020 #1YearToGo

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More effort is being made to allow spectators to try-out and learn more about sports on the programme at Olympic Games, IOC sports director Kit McConnell told insidethegames today.

It follows the success of such initiatives here at the Winter Youth Olympic Games, where "Try the Sport" demonstrations have been in operation at virtually every venue.

Sports have included the distribution of skis, and a miniature ski jump and bobsleigh track, predominantly aimed at young people but also attracting participation from older onlookers.

Such schemes are popular at many events within individual summer sports, such as World Championships, but are less common at a Summer or Winter Olympics.

"Certainly one thing we are looking to do in Rio is to work with the Olympic International Federations, both in the venues and other areas, about doing types of engagement activities," McConnell said.

"A lot of them do this and activate it really well at World Championships.

"And this type of wider engagement is something we are seeing more and more of, at both individual and multi-sport events.

"So for Rio there are some discussions going on about doing this, try the sport events and other such things."

Such schemes are viewed as an obvious way to inspire more people to take up sports they are less familiar with, and could help boost local interest in Rio de Janeiro as many Brazilians are apathetic about the Games due to wider economic and social problems.

It would also mark an example of something that has proved successful at a Youth Olympics being incorporated onto the bigger stage.

Exact details, such as where exactly these facilities will take place, are yet to be confirmed.

Similar "Try the Sport" events have also been showcased here in disciplines not currently on the Olympic programme, such as ice climbing, parkour and bandy.

A "Sports Lab" also featured at the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, featuring climbing, skateboarding, roller skating and wushu.

There are yet no plans in place to do something similar at Rio 2016 for non-Olympic sports, including the five - baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing - which have been proposed for inclusion at the subsequent at Tokyo 2020.

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