The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced Tuesday the team that will present to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board for inclusion in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
The multi-national team includes Maria Soto, Venezuelan softball star, and professional player Justin Huber of Australia. Also on the team are Antonio Castro of Cuba, Vice President of the WBSC – the newly formed international federation combining baseball and softball; Beng Choo Loo, Secretary General from Malaysia, and co-presidents Riccardo Fraccari of Italy and Don Porter from the United States.
Fraccari said, “the six-member team comes from six different countries and reflects the global presence and diversity of the sports of baseball and softball.”
Castro said, “with 65 million players at different levels worldwide, baseball and softball have extremely wide appeal and can be played by anyone almost anywhere, regardless of age, gender, social standing, disability, cultural or political position”.
Co-president Porter said inclusion in the Olympic Games is the greatest goal for every sport and represents the pinnacle for athletes everywhere, and is an honour that must be earned.
He added, “we appreciate the opportunity to illustrate how we think baseball and softball could add value to the Olympic Movement. This is an important moment in the history and development of all the sports under consideration for the 2020 Games, and everyone at the WBSC would like to extend our best wishes to our colleagues from the other sports”.
According to the WBSC, the presentation will build on the mass appeal and participation of baseball and softball to engage cities, communities and young people around the world, and highlight the values and benefits that the sports can bring in service of the Olympic Movement, including universality, gender equity, growth of participation, youth outreach, sustainability, governance, financial stability and digital marketing.