It’s clear the International Olympic Committee is trying to be the “cool dad” when it comes to adding new sports to its roster. Surfing, rock climbing and skateboarding will all make their debuts at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while breakdancing will appear at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. All of these sports trend towards younger audiences, with two of them (surfing and skateboarding) still X Games mainstays. It’s tough to fault the IOC for wanting to try new things to help with the effects of sagging ratings and endless controversies . The IOC has also never been known for having its finger on the pulse. Indeed, it tried to pull wrestling from the 2020 Olympics programme, igniting such a backlash that it hastily reinstated the sport. But being the cool dad means you don’t really understand how to be cool. You’re just mimicking what the kids are doing and hoping for the best. A case in point: the breakdancing community is divided over the sport’s inclusion in Paris, with many notable “breakers” stating their displeasure publicly. Breaking has long been a part of the counterculture movement at its home in the US, and abroad. The Olympics have long represented the tired and the traditional, with events like equestrian and fencing (although popular here in Hong Kong) that fail to attract a fulsome generation of athletes any more. Maybe it’s time the IOC thought outside the box? The problem with sports like surfing and rock climbing is they are niche, requiring specific environments, and have steep learning curves. Skateboarding is also connected to the counterculture, and adding it to the Olympics probably isn’t going to move the needle much when it comes to that demographic. CrossFit’s Mat Fraser and Rich Froning not speaking Enter CrossFit, the sport people love to hate . The much maligned, yet incredibly resilient and prosperous branded fitness regime, which has been around since 2000 when it started in a California garage, actually has a lot of things going for it. First, it has global appeal with more than 15,000 boxes in over 150 countries. The sport has been on a steady rise for the past five years when “boxes” started being counted with real accuracy. Each box, embedded within its community, is also locally run and attracts customers who are known to be as passionate as they are committed to the sport. CrossFit already has a stable of established stars, including Mat Fraser from the US, Tia-Clair Toomey from Australia and Katrin Davidsdottir from Iceland. CrossFit has taken hold in sporting hotspots across Europe, Asia and South America. The best part is, some of the sport’s top stars, such as Fraser and Toomey, have massive social media followings and heavyweight sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike and Reebok. They are ready for the bright lights and the network television cameras, with the annual CrossFit Games broadcast and documentaries on the sport often featured on Netflix. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir (@katrintanja) CrossFit also has the advantage of trending in the right direction. The world is undergoing a slow yet steady health and wellness boom. People, mostly younger ones, in developed countries are starting to work out and exercise more, building cultures around sports and pastimes like yoga, dance fitness and CrossFit. Taking care of your mind and body is becoming cooler, and Generation Z, which is just entering the workforce, values a work life balance more than older generations . CrossFit was also recently bought by tech entrepreneur Eric Roza, who looks to be the opposite of former owner and founder Greg Glassman. Roza is a progressive and wants to make CrossFit a global community of health and fitness accountability. Can CrossFit conquer China? Sadly, the chances of the IOC understanding these trends are slimmer than an Olympic long jumper. CrossFit is here to stay, love it or hate it, and it has footholds in communities across the planet, including eight boxes right here in Hong Kong. Its inclusion in the Olympics would be more than welcome by the community and not met with Generation Y apathy like skateboarding, surfing and breaking have been. Sadly, that’s the problem with being the cool dad. You don’t have any idea whether you’re cool or not, and if you have to ask, you probably aren’t.