No more hardball or softball in the Olympic games:
Reversing the expansion instincts that have gripped the Olympic movement for more than 50 years, the International Olympic Committee voted baseball and softball out of the Games in 2012 at its meeting in Singapore today, and instead of replacing them, simply decided to go small.
“We are now an Olympics of 26 sports,” the committee’s president, Dr. Jacques Rogge, told reporters after the vote.
The surprise came in two waves. First, the decision to drop baseball and softball came when the 114 committee members were asked to approve or disapprove all 28 summer Olympic sports. That followed a week of speculation by members that none of the sports would be eliminated.
Instead, the committee failed to support baseball, which officially joined the Games in 1992 and softball, which was added in 1996.
It was the first time the International Olympic Committee eliminated any sports in 69 years.
Both baseball and softball suffered from low international support because they are not widely played, despite their Olympic inclusion, and remained dominated by North American teams. Cuba won three of the four baseball gold medals and the United States won the other.
The United States won all three softball gold medals.
The swimming and the beach volleyball are the highlights of the summer games for me.
I’m let down because the prospect of Jenny Finch on national television has taken a significant hit.
I’ve never liked the high-profile sports inclusion into the olympics (admittedly said with a bit of hypocricy). Baseball players dream of a World Series title, basketball players dream of the NBA Championship, soccer players dream of the World Cup. If Olympic gold is not the pre-eminant goal, then that sport should not be included. But I’d sure miss olympic skiing and hockey…
I guess that blows my chances of seeing baseball played in Regent’s Park in London. Damn, I really would’ve loved that…
I’m a huge baseball fan,but I’m not terribly bothered by this.
First of all, the Olympics are primarily about individual demonstrations of raw athletic power and skill: the track and field events are archetypal.Secondly, the olympics are global and baseball is not. There’s very little point in the Domincan Republic and Turkey competing in the same forum. Hell, even cricket has a greater population base. And given that MLB players don’t participate, the whole things is kind of a joke.
All that said, had baseball been replaced with squash, I would have been livid.
Yet they kept ‘modern’ pentathalon? There’s a popular sport.
Maybe not as popular as baseball, but one of the few events that’s been at every Olympics. Tradition is worth something there. And as a fencer, I’d rather watch modern pentathalon than Olympic baseball any day. Of course, I’m kinda in the minority….
Are they still giving medals away for “synchronized” swimming? Some ‘sport’ that is. Might as well make dart throwing as an olympic event.
Not sure how popular baseball is worldwide. Off the top of my head, other than the US, only Japan, Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, Cuba, and Canada (to some extent) play baseball. I’d guess cricket has as much or more a worldwide following