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

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.