Tokyo: The three Olympic Games in which women only compete


From the inclusion of new sports such as karate, surfing and skateboarding, to the use of innovative technologies that appear to the athletes’ rhythms and the decision of a more “eco-friendly” policy with beds of cardboard and medals made of recyclable materials, for example..

All this in the midst of the pandemic of the last Olympic Games for a year, although they retain the name Tokyo 2020.

Among the characteristics related to this world sports competition, there are a few activities that It includes women exclusively.

There are three sports in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that are played by female athletes only.

Here we tell you what they are and why they are unique to women.

artistic swimming

It is a mixture of art and sport.


Synchronized or artistic swimming is a women’s Olympic discipline that combines technical perfection, synchronicity, choreography, interpretation and passion, as the Tokyo 2020 Games official website describes.

Using music, teams must complete two routines. Technique, with five shapes selected in a maximum of two minutes and 50 seconds, and freestyle ones that should last between three or four minutes.

The basic requirement for this sport is that swimmers must Perform the movements while holding your breath.

But this was not always done by women.


According to the Games’ official website, artistic swimming emerged from theatrical water ballet performances of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the adaptation of rescue and swimming techniques.

In the early competitions there were male swimmers, but over time synchronized swimming became associated with women after an exhibition of Australian Annette Kellerman in a water tank at the New York Racetrack in 1907.

Technical swimming was first included at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Currently, actions are categorized taking into account Timing, difficulty, technique and choreography. It is also important how much swimmers spray when they hit the water with their hands.

Competitors from China and Japan are the leaders in this sport. But Russian, Spanish, French, Ukrainian, American and Canadian swimmers also stand out.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

The essence of rhythmic gymnastics is focus, coordination and control.


In their interpretation, athletes combine launching an object into the air—which could be a ball or a hoop, among others—while doing jumps, spins, or acrobatic routines, and then catching it.

This Olympic sport has been ranked by Technical level of their performance, accompanied by music and the skill with which difficult maneuvers are performed with the device.

Rhythmic or artistic gymnastics has its roots in the ideas of movement and aesthetics of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as the Tokyo 2020 official website indicates. It has always been associated with women.

The first World Championships was held in Hungary in 1963. The first time it was included in the Olympic Games was in Los Angeles in 1984.


Rhythmic gymnastics is based on the European traditions of dance and ballet, it is not surprising that it is dominated by athletes from that continent such as Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian gymnasts who regularly win medals.

At the Olympic level, only rhythmic gymnastics are practiced by women, but in countries such as Spain, there are male gymnasts.

soft ball

novelty Softball, along with baseball, was once again present at the Olympic Games. The last time was in Beijing in 2008.

Softball was introduced as an Olympic competitive sport exclusively in the women’s class at Atlanta 1996.

Japan has decided to reintroduce both softball and baseball at Tokyo 2020 because they are two very popular sports in Japanese culture.


The basics of both sports are straightforward. Run after hitting the ball with the racket, go through all the bases and score a run.

The main difference between baseball and softball is that in the first, the bowler throws the ball over his arm, while in the second, he throws the ball under the arm or hip.

Softball is also played on a smaller court, with a shorter distance between bowler and hitter than in baseball. The ball is bigger and heavier.

Softball is believed to have been born in the United States as a version of baseball to be played in the off-season.

In the Olympic field, Softball is played by women only because it was introduced as a female version of baseball, Because this is not included in the program.

It is clearly the US team that dominates the sport.

However, the Japanese women’s team is not far behind, and in Tokyo 2020 they won the gold medal.

Softball team celebrates gold medal in Tokyo 2020. REUTERS


Remember that you can receive notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download and activate the latest version of our app so you don’t miss our best content.


Read also

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *