Eight sports make pitches for inclusion at 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Eight sports, including baseball and softball, made presentations in hopes of being included in the program for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Squash, surfing, bowling, roller sports, sport climbing and wushu were the other sports that made presentations on Friday, with organizers seeing live karate demonstration as part of the presentations. Baseball and softball made a combined bid.
Organizers for the games chose the eight sports from an original list of 26 that also included air sports, American football, bowling, bridge, chess, dance sport, floorball, flying disc, korfball, netball, orienteering, polo, racquetball, sumo, tug of war, underwater sports, waterski and wakeboard.
Tokyo organizers will make their recommendations to the International Olympic Committee by Sept. 30.
Cities awarded the Olympic games can propose to add one or more events to the Olympic charter, under the Agenda 2020, which was passed by the IOC last December.
The IOC will make final decisions on whether or not to add sports in August 2016, when it meets ahead of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Baseball and softball, which were both dropped after the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, are also up for consideration to be brought back after applying to be included in the games in June.
During Friday’s presentation, Japanese home run king Sadaharu Oh made an appearance in support of bringing back baseball and softball to the Olympics.
“The Japanese people want to see baseball and softball," Oh said. "We already have the facilities so we really hope baseball and softball are in the Olympics."
While Japan has said it would allow its professional baseball players to participate in the Olympics, Major League Baseball has made no such concessions, saying it would not suspend its schedule to send players to the games.
- Scooby Axson