IOC approves flexible sports program, baseball and softball could return
The International Olympic Committee approved a flexible sports program during its two-day meetings in Monaco, setting the stage for baseball and softball to possibly make their return to the Olympic program for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, according to the Associated Press.
The committee voted to drop baseball and softball from the Olympic program after the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Baseball joined the Olympics as a medal sport in 1992 and softball in 1996. The United States women won the first three softball gold medals after the sport became an Olympic competition and Japan won in Beijing, with the U.S. taking the silver.
The committee also approved allowing some Summer Olympic events to be held outside of the host country. Host countries for Winter Games are already allowed to hold events in neighboring countries.
The IOC abolished putting a cap of 28 sports for the Summer Games and will move to an “events-based” system, which will allow new events to be introduced.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and Pyeongchang, South Korea, will host the 2018 Winter Games.
- Scooby Axson