News / Arts & Entertainment

Baseball/Softball Hope for Last-minute Olympic Home Run

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge of Belgium speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires, Sept. 4, 2013.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge of Belgium speaks during a news conference in Buenos Aires, Sept. 4, 2013.
Reuters
Outsider sports, baseball and softball, bidding to rejoin the Olympics as one sport, are hoping to reel in International Olympic Committee [IOC] votes on Saturday with a financial lure.

The two sports, excluded from the Olympics in a 2005 vote, have since merged into one federation to boost their chances of re-entering the Olympics in 2020.

But with frontrunners wrestling - cut from the 2020 Games program in February only to make the shortlist - and squash battling for inclusion, the competition is tough.

While softball and baseball no doubt have improved their chances by joining forces, it is difficult to see how they could edge past wrestling, with all its Olympic funding, wide global appeal and clear IOC support, as well as backing from the United States, also the heartland for baseball/softball.

Top IOC members have already praised wrestling for the changes it undertook following its shock exclusion in February, while squash is advertising its small, compact and cheap proposition.

However, Don Porter, co-president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, told Reuters Television: “I think we are going to have a strong message, a very strong positive economic message to the IOC about what baseball and softball can do to be an added value to the Olympic program.

“We think that this message will show that baseball and softball, economically and [through its] gender equality... is going to be something that we hope the IOC members will see as important, and put baseball and softball into the Olympic program,” he said.

The IOC will select one sport for inclusion in the 2020 Games on Sept. 8 at its session in Buenos Aires.

The chance of an Olympic return for baseball/softball is hampered by what analysts say is a limited global appeal, the potential absence from the Games of the top American players and the larger number of competitors needed compared to the other two sports.

To boost their cause, baseball and softball have added Antonio Castro, the son of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and vice president of the federation, to their delegation in Argentina.

“We are fighting for the dreams of more than 65 million boys and girls around the world, fighting for those dreams of so many people, and to be in the party that is the Olympics,” said Castro. “If we are in the Olympic Games, it would be much more than the 65 million [people playing] that we have today.”

Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo are bidding to host the 2020 Games with a decision to be announced on Sept. 7.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”