WELLINGTON， Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The inclusion of new action sports will open the Olympics up to younger generations of athletes and sports fans， said two New Zealand academics whose research helped persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bring in new disciplines.
The Waikato University researchers welcomed the news Thursday that the IOC had decided to include baseballsoftball， karate， sports climbing， skateboard and surfing in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
It represented the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic program in modern history， said Associate Professors Belinda Wheaton and Holly Thorpe， who were commissioned by the IOC last year to study youth perceptions of the Olympic Games and attitudes towards action sports at the Youth Olympic Games.
Their final report played an important role in informing the decision to include skateboarding， surfing and sport-climbing， they said in a statement.
The report identified the challenge the IOC faced to stay relevant to youth amid changing sport participation and consumption patterns and growing competition from mega-events such as the X Games.
"It focused particularly on the attitudes of participants in newer， youth-focused action sports， such as skateboarding， surfing， BMX， snowboarding， parkour， kite-surfing， as well as the cultural processes leading up to and following the short-listing of surfing， skateboarding and sport climbing for the Tokyo 2020，" said Thorpe.
The project included online surveys in nine languages attracting responses across 51 countries， as well as media analysis and interviews with 25 key individuals in global action sports and those directly involved in the processes， including federation members， presidents， athletes， coaches， agents， event organizers and journalists.
"Our project revealed generational differences in attitudes towards action sports inclusion in the Olympic Games， as well as changing perceptions among those working most closely with the IOC to prepare their sports for possible Olympic inclusion，" said Wheaton.
"Furthermore， our report highlights the power and potential of action sports inclusion into the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games， as well as some of the ongoing and new challenges for such significant changes to both the infrastructure of action sports cultures and industries， and to the transforming landscape of Olympic sport."
SAN FRANCISCO， Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg this week announced that the company's employees will receive longer paid paternal leave and new benefits， namely family sick leave as well as bereavement leave.
"Starting today， Facebook employees will have up to 20 days paid leave to grieve an immediate family member， up to 10 days to grieve an extended family member， and will be able to take up to six weeks of paid leave to care for a sick relative，" Sandberg wrote on her personal Facebook account.
"We're also introducing paid family sick time -- three days to take care of a family member with a short-term illness， like a child with the flu，" added Sandberg.
Facebook employees are welcoming these new benefits as they significantly ease the lives of new parents and grieving employees.