WBSC launches 'Olympic Rewind' series to celebrate Tokyo 2020 original baseball, softball schedules

WBSC launches 'Olympic Rewind' series to celebrate Tokyo 2020 original baseball, softball schedules
22/07/2020
In collaboration with the Olympic Channel, past Olympic baseball and softball games will be re-streamed in place of this year's postponed Games.

Today would have been softball’s opening day at the Tokyo 2020 Games, as the first medal event on the official Olympic schedule. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic forced the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee to postpone the Olympic Games to 2021.

To help fill the whole in the hearts of fans and players alike, the Olympic Channel and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) will feature past Olympic baseball and softball games, including historic gold medal games.

The 'Olympic Rewind' series will coincide with the original Tokyo 2020 schedule.

'Olympic Rewind' Scheduling

  • Olympic softball rewinds: 22-28 July
  • Olympic baseball rewinds: 29 July to 8 August

The first game featured in the Olympic Rewind series will be Canada versus Chinese Taipei in softball at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games (21 July) at the 8,800-seat Golden Park Stadium in Columbus, Georgia, which was Game 2 of the Centennial Games.

Viewed from the present day, aluminium bats and white softballs are some interesting facts of the first Olympic softball event, held 24 years ago.

The nine-day Olympic softball competition in 1996 opened with eight participating teams: Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Japan, the Netherlands, China, Puerto Rico, and USA. The squads competed in a seven-game round robin, with the top four teams progressing to the playoffs.

Canadian head coach Lesle Kennedy sent lefty Debbie Sonnenberg into the circle for the country’s Olympic softball debut, while Chinese Taipei started with Hui-Mei Tu. Both starters would exit the game with no-decision.

A costly error by Chinese Taipei right field Chia-Chi Liu in the bottom of the seventh inning turned a leadoff single by Kelly Kelland (the top Canadian hitter in the tournament) into a triple, opening the door for Paulin Maurice’s two-out, game-tying RBI single to right field (her third hit of the game), to send the game to extra innings.

In spite of playing one of the most interesting and contested games of the competition, Canada and Chinese Taipei couldn’t advance to the medal round, finishing in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Tomorrow, the Olympic Rewind series will follow with the Atlanta 1996 softball Gold Medal Game between USA and China.

OLYMPIC REWIND - Softball

  • 22/7 Atlanta 1996 - Opening Round: Chinese Taipei v Canada
  • 23/7 Atlanta 1996 - Gold Medal Game: USA v China
  • 24/7 Sydney 2000 - Opening Round: New Zealand v Canada
  • 25/7 Sydney 2000 - Gold Medal Game: USA v Japan
  • 26/7 Athens 2004 - Gold Medal Game: Australia v USA
  • 27/7 Beijing 2008 - Gold Medal Game: Japan v USA
  • 28/7 Athens 2004 - Opening Round: Japan v China

OLYMPIC REWIND - Baseball

  • 29/7 Barcelona 1992 - Opening Round: USA v Spain
  • 30/7 Barcelona 1992 - Gold Medal Game: Cuba v Chinese Taipei
  • 31/7 Atlanta 1996 - Opening Round: Italy v Korea
  • 01/8 Atlanta 1996 - Gold Medal Game: Cuba v Japan
  • 02/8 Sydney 2000 - Opening Round: Netherlands v Cuba
  • 03/8 Sydney 2000 - Gold Medal Game: Cuba v USA
  • 04/8 Athens 2004 - Semi Final: Australia v Japan