When the 2020 Summer Olympics get underway in Tokyo, softball and baseball will be included on the program. The two sports — which have been absent in the 2012 and 2016 games — were voted back in. Joining them will be karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing.
The inclusion of softball and baseball was met with great excitement.
“What a truly great day for the sports of softball and baseball,” USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress said, per Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times. “For softball and baseball to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program is a dream come true for many athletes across the world. USA Softball is proud to be the national governing body for the sport of softball and will continue to work diligently every day to promote our great sport of softball on the world stage.”
Baseball was a demonstration sport at the Olympics in 1904, 1912, 1936, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1984 and 1988. In 1992, it was officially added to the program.
Baseball was an official part of the Olympic program at all five summer games from 1992-2008. Cuba won three gold medals (1992, 1996, 2004), with the United States (2000) and South Korea (2008) each winning one.
Softball was never a demonstration sport. It became an official Olympic sport in 1996 and remained as such for the following three Olympics. The United States won three of the four gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004), with Japan winning the other in 2008.