2020 Vision: Wakeboarding, squash and roller sports among those vying for Olympic place
fade into the distance, the minds of the planet's elite sportsmen and women turn to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
But for some, their eyes are even further down the line, in 2020, where one place on the roster is up for grabs.
Seven sporting federations – with one more to enter the race – have travelled to Lausanne in order to make their case for inclusion before the International Olympic Committee. The decision is due in September.
Hopeful: Cable wakeboarding is just one sport seeking a spot in the 2020 Olympics
The choice will be made with seven factors in mind. The history and tradition of the sport is considered, along with how popular, expensive and universal it is. Development of the International Federation, image and athletes’ health are also taken into account.
There are two martial arts forms for the IOC to choose from. One is called Wushu, and is what most of us would generally call Kung-Fu. Anyone who has admired the moves of Jet Li in films such as The Forbidden Kingdom and Romeo Must Die will want to see this sport take its place in the Olympics.
Unfortunately for action movie lovers, the full contact fighting discipline – called Sanda – is not making a bid. The discipline proposed is Taolu, the form discipline, which includes the use of weapons such as spears and swords.
While Asia is commonly assumed to be where martial arts flourish, world champions have come from all over the globe.
Performance: The form discipline of Wushu, known as Taolu, is bidding for a place rather than the combat form
Karate is also bidding for a place. This will see athletes face each other in combat on the mat, or Tatami, and will be just as spectacular to watch as Wushu.
Opponents will have to punch, kick and sweep their way to victory, and will face some fierce competition with Karate being one of the most popular martial arts in the world.
Athletes must aim for any area above the belt apart from the neck down in their attack, and are scored on the basis of their form, attitude, awareness and timing.
Battle: Opponents in Karate can only strike each other above the belt, but not on the neck
Softball and baseball have both been included in the Games before, but neither featured on the 2012 programme. They have launched a joint bid to re-instate Arena softball, which will be played indoors.
Unfortunately the sport has lacked sparkle in the past because of a lack of professional talent, and there is unlikely to be any change there, since Major League Baseball has been reluctant to put their season on hold for the Olympics.
You might expect that America were top dogs in previous Olympics, but in actual fact that last gold medal in softball went to Japan, while the baseball gold went to South Korea.
Dropped: Both baseball and softball have featured in the Olympic Games before but were dropped for 2012
Roller sports would certainly be a refreshing addition to the Games, and the Federation International de Roller Sports (FIRS) are hoping that will be the case.
Competing over distances of 300m up to 15km, inline speed skating would add another race to the Olympic roster, and would certainly be a crowd-pleaser.
Britain has a strong history in the sport, though its last World Champion was John Folley in 1969, who won the 10,000m. They will have stiff competition if they want to excel in 2020.
Tough competition: The last time Britain had a World Champion was in 1969
Squash is certainly popular when it comes to exercise in the general population, and there are hopes that it will be third time lucky in the sport’s Olympic bid.
It’s brutally tiring, and very high-speed, making it a great spectator sport. After having failed in their previous bids, organisers have concentrated on making it as commercial and TV-friendly as possible, with glow-in-the-dark courts and Hawk-Eye.
The Brits actually have a good chance of doing well here, with Nick Matthew ranked second in the world and James Willstrop ranked third. England took six medals home from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
British hopefuls: Nick Matthew (right) and James Willstrop are ranked second and third in the world
Sport Climbing is another discipline trying to gain recognition. Unlike traditional climbing, ‘bolts’ or ‘anchors’ are fixed into the walls, meaning that as climbers go, they can secure themselves, removing the fear of falling.
The routes up the wall are tricky to say the least, but the freedom of not having to concentrate fully on safety means that the climbers can focus all of their energy and agility on moving upwards, rather than securing themselves.
Needless to say, countries gifted with mountainous landscapes tend to do well in this arena, but there have been champions from all over the world, and Molly Thompson-Simpson, a 15-year-old Londoner, should be on track for a medal if the sport succeeds in its bid.
Danger free: The use of anchors on the wall allows sport climbers to focus on moving up rather than staying secured
The final sport in the running is cable wakeboarding, which will use overhead cable machines to tow up to nine riders at the same time.
There is no wake, as there would be in the traditional form where riders are towed by a boat, but the same tricks can be performed by just flexing the cable.
Great Britain is one of the frontrunners in this variation, with Kirsteen Mitchell already a World Champion.