The Fukushima Prefecture could host baseball and softball events at the 2020 Olympics, as organizers are considering three facilities.
With a decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expected in early December, organizers are looking into the possibility of hosting baseball and softball events in Fukushima, Koriyama, and Iwaki. Among those three cities, there are of trio of ballparks that are being surveyed for the games: Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, Iwaki Green Stadium, and the Koriyama Kaiseizan Baseball Stadium.
The games would carry some significance for Fukushima Prefecture, as the area was heavily impacted by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, and a subsequent nuclear disaster. More from The Japan Times:
“We want to emphasize this as a ‘recovery games’ and we want to work together with everyone to move it forward,” said 2020 executive board member Toshiaki Endo.
“These Olympics and Paralympics are not just for Tokyo but for the whole of Japan. We only have 1,353 days left, so we need everyone to make an effort so we can put on a fantastic event.”
IOC President Thomas Bach floated the idea of hosting baseball and softball games in Fukushima during a visit to Tokyo last month to take part in the World Forum on Sport and Culture.
“I felt that President Bach had a strong feeling toward Fukushima when he came here,” said Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori. “The idea of a ‘recovery games’ is once again in the spotlight and people are thinking carefully about how that can be achieved.
“It can show the courage of Fukushima Prefecture and the Tohoku region, and on a wider scale Kumamoto and Tottori — places that are working hard to recover from disaster.”
Baseball and softball were officially reinstated to the Olympics this summer. The sports last appeared in the summer games in 2008.
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