Reports (2): High Hopes on Reinstatement of Baseball and Softball at 2020 Tokyo Olympics
IOC president Bach pushes new Olympic agenda

(AP) -- There's no slowing down Thomas Bach these days.
The new IOC president is pursuing a frenetic pace in his first three months in office, quickly putting his own stamp on the job and the direction of the Olympic movement.
After a whirlwind global tour that took him to Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States, the 59-year-old German chaired his first meeting of the International Olympic Committee executive board on Tuesday.

It was a meeting that underlined Bach's focus on the challenges facing the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
On Wednesday, Bach took his executive board a few miles down Lake Geneva from Lausanne to the picturesque resort of Montreux, famous for its annual summer jazz festival.

The inner circle are holed up in a hotel for a four-day "brainstorming session" on what Bach calls the "Olympic Agenda 2020" -- his blueprint of priorities and possible changes for the rest of the decade.
Here's a look at five areas the board is reviewing:
・SHUFFLING SPORTS: One of the biggest difficulties of former IOC President Jacques Rogge's 12-year term was settling the Olympics sports program. His decision to set a limit of 28 sports, including 25 "core sports," for the Summer Games has been criticized. This was especially true after wrestling was dropped and then reinstated for the 2020 Olympics, with no new sports included as originally planned. Bach is suggesting a more flexible system, one that would allow for addition of new sports by trimming the number of existing disciplines and events. Bach has already said baseball and softball could be brought into the 2020 Tokyo Games after all. Squash will also want a chance. The IOC will have to try to find a new procedure that values both tradition and novelty.
・SPEAKING OF YOUTH: Bach speaks frequently of engaging with youth and encouraging sports participation among young people to "get the couch potatoes off the couch." The creation of the Youth Olympics was Rogge's pet project. The Summer Youth Games debuted in Singapore in 2010 and will have its second edition next year in Nanjing, China. Bach has endorsed the Youth Olympics, but has also suggested the event could be used as a testing ground for new sports that could eventually make it into the full-fledged games. Skateboarding could be an example. And how about American football? Yes, really. The sport received provisional recognition from the IOC on Tuesday, the first step on a long road to possible inclusion in the games.

(Read the full story on The Mainichi)

December 13, 2013 (Mainichi Japan)