LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation successfully debuted baseball and softball at the 37th Olympic Week in October, attracting 675 of the over 5,500 visitors to the festival, where more than 35 sport activities were showcased.
The attendance figures were released today by the Olympic museum, with visitors sampling a record of more than 26,000 different experiences across all sports.
Organisers praised baseball and softball’s appeal and engagement as a new addition to Olympic Week, and have had discussions with WBSC to secure the bat-and-ball’s presence in 2018.
At Olympic Week last month, WBSC, which is based in Lausanne, partnered with Swiss Baseball Club ‘Lausanne Indians’ and the Swiss Baseball and Softball Federation (SBSF) to showcase an baseball and softball sessions across the five-day festival.
Men’s baseball and women’s softball will be making their historic Olympic return at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Building on this Olympic status, baseball and softball will also be included as part of the celebration of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018.
Sport federations and bodies are turning to introduction and engagement initiatives like Olympic Week and the Youth Olympic Games to remain ahead of a growing digital world and aging sports-world population.
“Baseball and softball represent one of the longest-standing and biggest youth sports movements in the world,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, “and it’s an honour to be involved in the Olympic Museum’s forward-looking project. Baseball and softball’s presence here is a key step toward building a billion-strong community by 2024, and further contributing to the Olympic Movement.”
WBSC plans to continue presenting baseball and softball at Olympic Week in the coming years to attract more and more kids to baseball/softball in emerging baseball-territories in Europe.