The World Baseball Softball Confederation has submitted an official proposal to the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee for men’s baseball and women’s softball to be included in the program at the 2020 Olympics. Making the announcement, WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: “It is an honour for the World Baseball Softball Confederation to submit the application to Tokyo 2020 organisers. And on behalf of baseball and softball, I would like to fully thank and recognise IOC President Thomas Bach for his Olympic Agenda 2020 vision, which has created this exciting new process for new sports-events, like baseball and softball, to be considered for the world’s biggest sports stage, the Olympic Games.”
The Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel will evaluate the proposals from IOC recognised non-Olympic international sports federations, with Tokyo 2020 set to announce a shortlist on 22 June. The WBSC is hoping to highlight that adding baseball and softball to the 2020 Games in Japan – – where the bat-and-ball sport is embedded in the society across both genders – will serve to optimise fan, youth and overall engagement, helping to captivate the entire Olympic host nation of Japan and audiences worldwide. Baseball and softball are played by an estimated 65 million athletes in over 140 countries and attract approximately 150 million fans annually to stadiums worldwide.
“Adding baseball and softball – a major global team sport and highly popular in Japan – can help further position the Olympic Games as the centre of the sporting and cultural universe — providing the athletes, organisers and viewers with an electrifying Games-time synergy and atmosphere,” President Fraccari said. “Baseball and softball at the Tokyo 2020 Games can help spread Olympic values with the entire nation of Japan and those around the world — and give inspiration to be at the Olympic Games and to be an Olympian — providing another key pathway for TOCOG and the Olympic Movement to connect directly with millions of people worldwide, particularly younger generations, women and our sport’s loyal fans.”
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Sport Intern.