The newly formed International Confederation of Softball and Baseball is set to meet with senior IOC officials Wednesday in order to start the initial push for the sports to be reinstated at the 2020 Games.
The sports were eliminated during a 2005 IOC vote and were last played at the 2008 Beijing Games. Both will spend at least two Olympics cycles on the sidelines after being beat out by golf and rugby when they were up for reinstatement for 2016 under independent governing organizations.
They’ve now joined forces in their Olympic bids and will present their case to the IOC at a meeting next month where the sports will go up against Karate, roller sports, squash, sport climbing, wakeboarding, and the Chinese martial art of wushu.
In the meantime, Baseball Federation president Riccardo Fraccari told the Associated Press that he plans to speak with the MLB about releasing their top players for the Olympics should the sport be reinstated.
GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Bjorn Krupp’s journey started at the Duluth IceForum in suburban Atlanta.
Brooks Macek piled up the points in Bantam hockey in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the Notre Dame Hounds.
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Now they’re in the Olympic gold-medal game for Germany, having advanced further than the teams from their home countries. The U.S.-born Krupp and Canadian-born Macek have German fathers and now call Germany home with no apologies for beating or scoring against the countries of their birth.
When Macek scored a go-ahead power-play goal in what turned out to be a remarkable upset semifinal win against Canada, he pumped his fist and never felt conflicted about beating a team with the Maple Leafs on its jerseys.
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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — They forged bonds from Riga to Cologne and in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
It’s all led Germany and the Russians to a David versus Goliath Olympic gold-medal game Sunday. Even though the Russians were favorites all along and expected to win gold in a tournament without NHL stars and Germany was a longshot to even reach the semifinals after not qualifying in Sochi, these two teams are more similar than they are different.
NBCOlympics.com: OAR to face surprising Germany in final
Their familiarity and continuity is the biggest reason they’re facing off in the final.
Germany’s core group has been together through the Olympic qualification tournament and world championships and has played the same system for the past three years under coach Marco Sturm. The Russians’ 25-man roster is made up of 15 players from SKA St. Petersburg and eight from CSKA Moscow, the two best teams in the Kontinental Hockey League.
“That’s a big key to our success,” Germany defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said Saturday. “We were very familiar with each other. … (The Russians also) should be really familiar because almost everybody plays on the same teams in Russia.”
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