Two days before the official opening ceremony, the sports events for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games (OG) began on Wednesday, July 21, in Fukushima at 9 a.m. (2 a.m. in France), with the softball match, a women’s version of the baseball, between Japan and Australia.
The organizers of the Olympics, postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, wanted to symbolically mark the occasion, by starting their Games in Fukushima, in an area ravaged by the nuclear accident of March 2011, after a powerful earthquake of magnitude 9.0 and a gigantic tsunami which caused the fusion of the cores of three reactors of the plant.
This first day of competition gives pride of place to women’s events with three softball matches, followed by the first six games of the women’s football tournament. With the resurgence of contamination due to Covid-19, these “Reconstruction games” however, will argue behind closed doors.
It is therefore in a stadium with only the teams, staffs, officials and media that the Japanese, crowned Olympic champions in 2008 for the last appearance of the discipline at the Olympics, launched the tournament and the Olympics against the Australia.
Present for the first time on the Olympic program in 1996 in Atlanta, in one of the cradles of the discipline with Japan, softball has written its history with the Games in extremely fine lines, even in dotted lines.
An Olympic discipline from 1996 to 2008, softball is one of the five additional sports of these Olympics, proposed by the organizing committee and approved by the International Olympic Committee, along with karate, rock climbing, surfing and skateboarding.
Moreover, the discipline will not be celebrating in Paris in three years, but still hopes to be part of the list of the lucky ones elected in Los Angeles in 2028, in the country of softball and baseball.