Today, the IOC voted unanimously to add baseball/softball to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Both sports last appeared at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
Prior to softball’s 8 year absence from the Olympic Games, the United States dominated the competition, striking gold in three straight Olympics – Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, and Athens 2004. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, the United States fell to Japan in the championship game, claiming the silver medal.
While neither sport will be present when the games begin in Rio in a few short days, the vote to include baseball/softball in the Tokyo 2020 games is encouraging for the sport’s future. It should be noted, however, that today’s vote by the IOC only adds baseball/softball to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Whether or not the sports will be included in future Olympics after 2020 is yet to be determined.