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Softball's Olympic Reinstatement


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#101
KCSoftball

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Yep, wrestling put on a "full-court press" the minute the vote was over. They did everything the IOC asked of them, kissing behinds like crazy, and it worked.  What did softball do? Sit on its hands contemplating what to do!

 

Maybe softball should have changed its leadership to new people like wrestling did.  I do know they should have sat on each IOC member's doorstep until they agreed to vote for softball.  Every time an IOC voting member turned around I would have been standing there with my hand out! I'd even wear knee pads all the time, so I could grovel some more.

 

Softball leadership doesn't seem to understand that softball in the Olympics is the biggest thing in the world for softball! Just look at how softball has stagnated for the last 5 years.  Wrestling is adding two classes for women. Wow, right now there are very few women wrestlers, but watch now that it is in the Olympics they will come out of the woodwork's?  Mostly at softball's expense!

 

I make logos (for myself) as a hobby and it's getting harder & harder to find new icons to use. One sees a lot of new icons for other women's sports, just not softball. There is very little (even less than pre-2008) talk in the media about softball. But one still hears about the other women's sports.

 

Maybe it is time for the USOC to look at USA Softball itself? Find out why members of the IOC don't like softball people? There has gotta be a reason softball got so few votes (24 out of 118). 



#102
SpartanIlliniCub

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Was it a matter of money?  I know all those IOC guys are completely corrupt and would respond well to golden gifts from any governing body of any of these sports.  Would wrestling have just had more money to throw at the IOC committee than the combined baseball softball effort?



#103
KCSoftball

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Who knows?  Wrestling bent over backwards to do the IOC's bidding. I would think they were sitting on each member's doorstep the very next morning, and paid each voting member a few visits. They really showed they wanted back in, not wasting even a minute of time. Others took their sweet time (two years first time, three years second time) before getting serious.

 

As I said before, I would have been in bed with all the voting members, making sure they heard what I wanted to say.  If necessary I would have also been bearing "golden gifts" to all of them.

 

It's still not too late, they need to be on Japan's doorstep daily, begging for softball to be included in 2020!  Softball could have also put in a bid for both men's & women's softball.  They don't need the MLB, just my humble opinion.  That and a $1.25 will get you a cup of coffee. 



#104
SpartanIlliniCub

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Maybe some of the larger members of wrestling's governing body suggested to the IOC that they should include wrestling or risk their physical well being? ;)



#105
KCSoftball

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Still a chance for softball in the Olympics? 

 

http://www.chicagotr...0,2177369.story

 



#106
CatOsterFan

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Tokyo winning the right to host the 2020 Games was a huge victory for baseball/softball.  Tokyo is a baseball- and softball-crazed nation and it already has all the facilities necessary to host the sports at the 2020 Games.  But the sports roster is already filled for the Tokyo Olympics.  Wrestling won the last remaining spot.  To include baseball/softball the IOC would have to add another sport or would have to get rid of a sport already set for the event.  Here is the update on this story from this article:

 

Wednesday, new International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach of Germany told a news conference in Japan the IOC executive board would discuss at its December meeting the idea of having the two sports on the 2020 Summer Games program.

 

So the IOC President said the IOC exec board would discuss having baseball/softball in the 2020 games.  A discussion doesn't mean a whole lot given that the 2020 Olympic sports have already been chosen, but this is certainly the most hopeful news in a long time!  Sounds like the door is not quite closed yet on 2020...



#107
SpartanIlliniCub

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I'd call it extremely positive news that the new president of the IOC is receptive to adding baseball & softball.  There is also a line in that article that sports need to be decided 7 years before the games, and yet the president of the IOC says he is "I am open for more flexibility in the Olympic program."



#108
CatOsterFan

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It is a lot of fun having the Olympics on right now, but the experience for a softball fan is definitely bittersweet.  Seeing teams like Team USA womens' hockey and watching them excel and do so well representing our nation makes my heart ache for softball players out there who may never have the chance.  Hopefully Team USA softball can have another chance someday.



#109
KCSoftball

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Still a chance for 2020?  Some very powerful people are coming on board.
 

SOCHI, Russia – Baseball and softball's bid to return to the Olympics just might go into extra innings. After failed attempts last fall, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach left the door open for the possible return of the sports for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

 
How many of you have ever paid money to attend one of these events?  I haven't!
 

Summer Olympic events:

  • Archery, been there done that!  How many fans watch it?  
  • Badminton, not one of my sports, not sure how it got in?
  • Canoe Slalom, to watch properly a man-made course needs to be made, which can cost as much as a softball stadium.
  • Canoe Sprint, same here.
  • Cycling-BMX. kiss enough tail and look what happens!
  • Cycling-Mountain Bike, same here, pucker up!
  • Cycling-Road, like watching snails race!
  • Cycling-Track, this can be enjoyable to watch.
  • Equestrian-Dressage, rich people showing off!
  • Equestrian-Eventing, rich people showing off!
  • Equestrian-Jumping, rich people showing off!
  • Fencing , more rich people!
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics-Artistic , not good enough to make regular gymnastic team, so FIG made a sport  for them!
  • Gymnastics-Rhythmic, same thing here FIG created sport!
  • Handball, good exercise, but Olympic sport?
  • Judo
  • Modern Pentathlon, the train has left the station for this sport, it is outdated, based on war, outlived it's usefulness!
  • Rowing, have watched this, about like watching logs floating up stream?
  • Sailing , one can't really see what's going on in sailing, boats too far away!
  • Shooting, do we as a people really need anything like this? I used to shoot for sport. It is like watching someone adjusting the TV!
  • Synchronized Swimming,  another sport created for those not good enough to make regular team, FINA had clout so it created another sport!
  • Table Tennis, not for me, but, these people really have good hand-eye coordination!
  • Taekwondo,  ????
  • Trampoline, this is really an Olympic Sport? REALLY??  Another case of one Federation (FIG) getting so strong they create sports to make themselves more important!
  • Triathlon, you only get to see a very short part of this sport and can't watch the favorites for more than a couple minutes as they pass by!
  • Weightlifting, been in Olympics for ever, guess they should stay?
  • Wrestling-Freestyle, hats off to wrestling, softball needs to look very closely are how these guys put on a full-court press!
  • Wrestling-Greco-Roman, above!

 

Methinks the people who run and vote on Olympic sports are very elitist. Most think they are above regular people. You gotta kiss a lot of tail (plus golden handshakes) to get these people to do anything that is right for the most people!  They trade their votes to other elitist sports so they can keep their power!  There needs to be a "term limit" on all voting members of the IOC!  Get some fresh blood in there!

 

Oh well (stepping off my soap box) I have done all I can do for today to make changes happen! :wub:

 

Happy Pres Day!



#110
CatOsterFan

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It's hard to believe that baseball/softball cannot find a spot with all the fluff sports in the summer Olympics currently.



#111
SpartanIlliniCub

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Speaking of bittersweet Olympics...today the womens' hockey team lost a heartbreaker to Team Canada.  Team USA was up 2-0 with 6 minutes left to go in the game.  Team Canada scored once and was down by a goal in the final minutes of the game.  Team Canada pulled their goalie and Team USA narrowly missed scoring an empty net goal.  Team Canada scored again to tie it up and then scored first in overtime to win the game and the gold medal.

 

Reminds me of a heartbreaking loss Team USA softball sustained to Japan in Beijing in 2008.  Today's loss hits close to home :(



#112
SpartanIlliniCub

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I am very pleased to report that I just read an article stating that the International Olympic Committee has voted to re-include baseball and softball in the Olympic Games in 2020!

 

The 2020 Games will be in Tokyo, and Japan being a baseball- and softball-crazed nation sure doesn't hurt!  After 12 years the drought may finally be over. 

 

Five sports were unanimously recommended to be added to the 2020 games including baseball & softball, surfing, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing.  These sports will be presented to the IOC general assembly and will be voted on in August just before the start of the Summer Games in Rio.  This could be the day we have been waiting for for 12 years!  A chance to see softball back on the world stage!  A chance to see America's best obliterate every nation on Earth (except maybe Japan). 

 

August is just around the corner...we will know very soon.



#113
CatOsterFan

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Yes yes yes!  I love Olympic softball and I am thrilled that it is likely going to back into the Olympics.

 

Though on the other hand I am also sad--mostly for the NPF.  It seems the NPF is just starting to establish itself.  The NPF attendance appears to be up, it has expanded to six teams, and everything points to a league on the rise. 

 

But if you all recall, during Olympic years all the best NPF Players would leave their NPF teams to play with the National Team.  This undoubtedly hurt NPF ticket sales.  I hope a return to Olympic softball doesn't roll back the NPF's progress.

 

Though on one hand the Olympics gives an international stage to the best softball players and helps create stars in the world of softball.  The stars could hopefully bring that notoriety to the NPF once the Games are over.

 

I hope that now that the NPF is a little better established and the Olympics props up the NPF rather than bring it down.



#114
fastpitchfan

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The NPF has valiantly carried the banner of elite women's fastpitch over the past several years--including signing many of Team USA's former superstars--but it has never completely rekindled the rabid national enthusiasm the Olympics engendered. I have followed the NPF faithfully since it began, but when I heard about softball's Olympic reinstatement I felt like I had come out of an eight-year coma!

And I doubt I am alone. Americans love Olympic softball! Renewed fan interest in the sport will only help the NPF. Remember it was Jennie Finch's Olympic fame, including her TV appearances on multiple national talk shows prior to the Athens Games, that kick-started the NPF back in 2004. The Olympic team will definitely create plenty of new stars who will eventually, we hope, make their way into the NPF.

I can't wait until the Olympic team is named and starts its pre-Olympic tour!



#115
speedracer

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Can you imagine the excitement generated by a rematch between the United States and Japan for the gold medal? Team USA, hoping to redeem itself after a heartbreaking second-place finish eight years ago in Beijing, going against the defending champs on their home turf. Amazing!

I can hear Donald Trump now: "Make America great again!"

#116
jlurban

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News article from The Softball Channel website, posted 7/29/16, 12:14 PM CDT:

 

Softball Returns to the Olympics

Fastpitch Reinstated for 2020 Tokyo Games

 

By TSC Analyst/Contributor Daniel Urban 
 
LOMBARD – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voted to re-include softball in the Olympic program in 2020.  According to IOC vice president John Coates, the IOC executive board was unanimous in its decision to recommend the addition of five sports, including softball/baseball, to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  The other four sports are karate, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing.
 

Softball was removed from Olympic competition following the 2008 Games in Beijing, breaking the hearts of millions of fans from both America—the perennial powerhouse—and around the world.  That sparked an eight-year grassroots campaign for reinstatement.

 

That tireless work has finally paid off.

 

The fact that Japan is a softball- and baseball-crazed nation sure didn’t hurt.  According to Coates, the five added sports represent a good balance between those that are very popular in Japan and those that better engage youth.

 

Adding to the drama is the fact that America closed out its Olympic career with a silver medal finish to Japan in 2008, so the thought of a rematch with the gold medalists on their home turf is almost too much to bear.

 

Only one hurtle remains: a confirmatory vote by the IOC general assembly in Rio de Janeiro on the eve of the 2016 Olympics.  Since the IOC executive board is forwarding a unanimous recommendation to the assembly, this should be a mere formality.

 

The opening ceremony is slated for August 5th, so we should know something definite by August 4th.  Stay tuned!



#117
MammaZord

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It's so great to see softball (and baseball) back in the Olympics!! Was Japan (the next host country) active in pushing for baseball and softball reinstatement? As mentioned above, Japan is the other softball "powerhouse" and they are baseball-crazed, so maybe they pushed to have it reinstated? Does anyone know if there were similar petitions in Japan?  



#118
KCSoftball

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Baseball/softball is very big in Japan.  Each host city is allowed to add sports the Olympics, if approved by IOC. So why not sports it feels is has a great chance to medal, maybe even get a gold?

 

Last month (I believe at the Worlds?) Japan had 31,000 people attend the its game against the US--yes that was 31 thousand fans at one game. So, yes I think japan "pushed" for it!

 

BUT A CAUTION to all softball fans, this is a "one-time" entry, Baseball/softball is still NOT a permanent Olympic sport! We all need to remember this and keep the pressure on to make it permanent!  As I see it, only if Los Angeles wins the bid for 2024 will baseball/softball have a chance for 2024.

 

I watched some of the IOC meeting and I came away with the feeling that only if MLB joins and lets its top players play will the IOC let baseball/softball become a permanent sport. They talked about baseball not allowing its players to take part.  As I see it, they want the top male players (that's all they mentioned) in each and every sport!  They even thought it was OK that golf was not sending its best, stating that after the top players watch this Olympics, later Olympics will bring out the top players.

 

Softball still has a long uphill battle, with MLB dragging it's feet, to get back to the top where it belongs!  I wish some way the IOC could be enticed into putting both women's & men's softball on the agenda! 



#119
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It's official.  Softball is back into the Olympics for 2020!  (But your point is well taken, KC, the fight now moves to 2024).

 

News article from the Los Angeles Times website, posted 8/5/16, 1:17 PM PDT:
 

Baseball, softball to return to Olympics in 2020

 

By Helene Elliott

 

The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday approved the return of baseball and softball to the Olympic program for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. The two sports, which had been eliminated after the 2008 Games, were restored only for the 2020 Games.

 

The international federations that oversee baseball and softball had vigorously campaigned for the return of both sports to the Olympics.

 

"What a truly great day for the sports of softball and baseball," USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress said. "For softball and baseball to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program is a dream come true for many athletes across the world. USA Softball is proud to be the national governing body for the sport of softball and will continue to work diligently every day to promote our great sport of softball on the world stage."

 

Also approved for inclusion were karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing, in an effort to appeal to a younger audience.

“We want to take sport to the youth," IOC President Thomas Bach said. "With the many options that young people have, we cannot expect any more that they will come automatically to us. We have to go to them. Tokyo 2020’s balanced proposal fulfils all of the goals of the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendation that allowed it. Taken together, the five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”

 

“The inclusion of the package of new sports will afford young athletes the chance of a lifetime to realize their dreams of competing in the Olympic Games–the world's greatest sporting stage–and inspire them to achieve their best, both in sport and in life,” Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said.



#120
jlurban

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News article from the Team USA website, posted 8/3/16, 2:35 PM EDT:

 

Softball and baseball added to Tokyo 2020 Olympic program following IOC approval

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The hopes and dreams of millions of softball athletes across the globe have been answered today as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted today to approve the addition of five new sports to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today.  The decision, which comes after the IOC met in Rio de Janeiro, was made possible after the groundbreaking Olympic Agenda 2020, which provides flexibility for the future of the Olympic Movement to encourage innovation in the Olympic program.  In addition to softball/baseball, other sports that will be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing.

 

“What a truly great day for the sports of softball and baseball,” said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress.  “For softball and baseball to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program is a dream come true for many athletes across the world.  USA Softball is proud to be the National Governing Body for the sport of softball and will continue to work diligently every day to promote our great sport of softball on the world stage.”

 

Softball and baseball’s global reach, loyal fan-base and positioning across many of the biggest sports markets, including Japan, offers a unique opportunity to further spread and elevate the Olympic brand.  The decision today further highlights the growing global appeal of the two sports, particularly among young people and women.  In Japan, softball/baseball have remained atop the landscape and a central part of the culture for more than 70 years.  Other factors considered in the sports package include the impact on gender equality, the youth appeal of the sports and the legacy value of adding them to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

 

Softball spent four “quads” as an Olympic sport debuting in the 1996 Atlanta Games with the final Olympic softball competitions taking place in Beijing in 2008. Softball and baseball were ousted from the 2012 Olympics following a vote from the IOC in 2005 in which softball, needing a simple majority of votes (53), received just 52.  Despite its exclusion from the Olympics for the past eight years, international softball has become increasingly competitive as a record 30 nations competed in last month’s 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship in Surrey, BC, Canada and a record-breaking 12 nations competed at the World Cup of Softball XI in Oklahoma City, Okla.  This was also highly showcased during the USA vs Japan All-Star Series in Tokyo and Sendai, Japan, where members of the USA Softball Women’s National Team squared off against Japan in a three-game series.  A record-breaking 31,448 fans attended Stage One of the series at the Tokyo Dome, while an additional 3,000 fans attended the final two stages at Shellcom Sendai.

 

“Thank you to the IOC and the WBSC for this tremendous honor for not only our sport, but our athletes and the millions of young girls who dream of one day being an Olympian,” said USA Softball Women’s National Team athlete Janie Takeda (Placentia, California).  “This means so much to not only our USA Softball Women’s National Team program, but to millions of girls across the world.  Even if I’m not there, knowing that softball athletes will get to compete on the highest stage against the best competition in the world is amazing.”

 

In four Olympic Games appearances, the USA Softball Women's National Team claimed three Gold Medals and one Silver Medal finish while setting numerous international records and are one of only two women's sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three-consecutive Gold Medals.  In 2012, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Fernandez and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team were honored for their accolades with induction into the US Olympic Hall of Fame.  Members of the 2004 US Olympic Softball Team set 18 Olympic records in Athens.  Among the team records set were the most hits (73), highest team batting average (.343) and highest slugging percentage (.559). Fernandez set the individual record for batting average with .545 while Crystl Bustos’ 10 RBI and five home runs were also records.

 

This decision comes just 10 days after the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed their first WBSC Women’s World Championship title since 2010 after defeating Japan 7-3 in the Gold Medal finale.  As a team, the US finished the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship with a .436 team batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBI and outscored opponents 83-10.  The pitching staff was lights out, allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.19 ERA.






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