The Japan Olympic Committee announced this evening the recommendation of five sports to the IOC for inclusion into the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. The diamonds sports of softball and baseball led the way with karate, surfing, skateboarding and climbing sports being selected. The official announcement for inclusion of these sports into the Olympics will be made in August 2016 ahead of the Rio Summer Games. This marks the first occasion where an organising committee has been given the unique opportunity to contribute to the design of the Olympic Program, thanks to Olympic Agenda 2020. Read more…
Following the announcement, our current and Olympic softball players commented on what the Olympic Games mean to them:
“Playing softball at the Olympics has been my dream ever since I could remember. Putting softball back into the Olympics would boost the numbers and support this sport has in our country. It reintroduces a women’s team sport on the global level! It will give younger generations something to aim for and something to fight for! I passionately believe that Australia is amongst the best in the world for this sport and the Olympics is the best stage an athlete can be on to represent their country and their sport. In saying that, fingers crossed for 2020; I know there’s a huge amount of support to get this awesome sport of ours back into the Olympiad once more!
Rachel Lack- CTI Aussie Spirit
“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become, and the hours of practise and the coaches who have pushed you, is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back… play for her.”
Taylah Tsitsikronis – CTI Aussie Pride and CTI Aussie Spirit
“There is so much excitement surrounding softball and baseball right now with the upcoming Olympic decision. This is an incredible opportunity to continue the growth of some of the most respected sports in the world. To reinstate softball in the Olympics will pave so many new pathways for our young ball players and give them a chance to represent their country at an Olympic Games. This decision will change the lives of many athletes and the future of our sports and I’m really optimistic about Tokyo2020!
Amber Johnson – CTI Aussie Spirit
“Softball being at the Olympics means an opportunity to compete at the pinnacle of the sport for my country. It is a chance to show the world what a great game softball is and how competitive we are internationally. I know that this will increase the profile of the sport and lead to greater participation levels. To participate in an Olympic games is a goal I have had as an aspiring athlete and to have this dream potentially become a reality would be a privilege. The inclusion of softball in Tokyo 2020 would then inspire the next generation of athletes… like I was in 2000.”
Clare Warwick – CTI Aussie Spirit
Australia Olympic players also commented on today’s announcement
Softball is more than a sport to me; it is my life. It has enriched my life in so many ways and I was fortunate to compete for Australia at four Olympic Games. The Olympics is the pinnacle of our sport and I know it is a goal for many young Australian girls and many young girls around the world. Softball brings together the nations of the world and enables young women to showcase their craft. Such is an incredible sport, played by some of the most talented athletes in the world. Never has it bought international sport into disrepute and it is played with the upmost respect and sportsmanship. I pray that softball is bought back to the Olympics.
Tanya Harding, 4-time Olympian and medallist 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008
“I love that softball is getting its chance to be included in the Olympic Games again. For players playing today, this decision gives them opportunity to dream, set goal, train hard and experience their sport at its pinnacle. The hype and excitement of competing at an Olympic Games is like nothing else I have ever experienced and I am thrilled that our softball athletes of today will get the opportunity to experience something very, very special with this decision to include our amazing sport.”
Brooke Wilkins, 3-time Olympian and medallist 2000, 2004, 2008
To get softball back in the Tokyo Olympic Games would give back respect not only to softball but women’s sport in general. It would highlight, once again, what softball has bought to the Aussie Olympic culture and what elite world sport looks like. AUSTRALIA has medalled in all four Olympics it has been a part of. Australian women’s softball is one of the most successful teams in Olympic history. It’s time to share the success once again. I would feel relevant again to the Olympic movement and what it should stand for; ATHLETES not in it to earn money or sponsorship, but the excitement of playing for your country in the biggest event in world sport.
Nat Titcume, 3-time Olympian and medallist 2000, 2004, 2008.
What does the Olympics mean to our sport?
While still subject to final IOC endorsement in August 2016, Softball Australia is very excited by the recommendation from the Tokyo Olympic Committee to include Softball/Baseball as Diamond Sports in the Olympic program for the 2020 Summer Games.
Australian softball has a wonderful Olympic heritage with four medals from our four Olympic Games appearances in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. We remember with pride our past Australian softball Olympians who dedicated themselves for the love of the game and as a result became one of Australia’s most successful Olympic teams during that 16 year period. Olympic re-entry will be a great opportunity for our national women’s team to again participate and excel in their chosen sport on the biggest competition stage in the World. It will inspire future generations of girls to look to softball as a sport that will enable them to fulfil their sporting dreams. Australia is currently ranked #3 in the world and we have in excess of 100,000 participants playing softball in Australia. We look forward with anticipation to IOC ratification in August 2016 of the Tokyo Olympic Committee’s recommendation that softball and baseball once again be included on the Olympic program and the positive impetus this will provide to both diamond sports in this country.
John Hollingsworth – Chairman, Softball Australia
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