A SHOUT OUT FOR 2020
August 9 2013
In the best of all possible worlds, the IOC Executive Board on Saturday will select Japan, the most baseball-softball centric of three bidders, as host for the 2020 Olympics – and on Sunday select baseball-softball as the added 2020 event.
But notwithstanding the hopes and dreams of hundreds of eight-year old softball players, the IOC could choose Japan but not baseball-softball. Hopefully, Japan would then move to add baseball-softball as a parallel event.
There are many issues which arise like funding, team selection etc., but those steps are integrally dependent on the first two decisions.
The softball community has come up short in every IOC vote since Singapore. Hopefully. this time, the leadership of the softball world holds a winning hand.
The case for softball-baseball was well stated by Jennie Finch, the two-time Olympian, in an article by David Wharton in the LA Times:
Wrestling figures to be the big winner Sunday when the International Olympic Committee votes to add a sport to the roster at the 2020 Summer Games.
But former softball star Jennie Finch is making one last plea for her game.
“We proved that we belong as far as the rankings and ratings that you are judged on in the Olympic Games,” Finch told insidethegames.com as the IOC meetings in Buenos Aires continued Thursday. “We were rarely in the bottom half of all of these things that you’re rated on.”
Softball and baseball were dropped from the Olympic program after 2008 and are running a joint campaign to be reinstated. Wrestling was cut from the list of core sports in February but is expected to make a quick return.
Squash is the only other sport competing for a lone open slot.
Finch won Olympic gold and silver with the U.S. team before retiring in 2010.
“We do need to be back in the Olympics,” she said, “and I do think we belong there.” Spy totally concurs.
The losers in Sunday’s vote might have another path back to the Games. With the IOC electing a new president this week, there has been talk of expanding the number of sports on the program.