On September 25th, Ikee threw out the first pitch at the Yakult versus Chunichi baseball game held at Jingu Stadium in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. Ikee’s pitch made it over the plate and into the catcher’s mitt, although there were very few fans in these stands to celebrate due to coronavirus restrictions.
September 25th is significant as the date marks the two-year anniversary of Ikee having received a bone marrow transplant. After having been diagnosed with leukemia in February 2019, she spent most of that year in the hospital, being released in December 2019.
Remarkably, Ikee made it onto the Japanese Olympic team for Tokyo where she represented her nation on two women’s relays.
On her first pitch performance, Ikee told Asian media, “I was so nervous that my legs were cramped, but when I stood on the mound, I thought the scenery was nice. I practiced throwing until my muscles hurt, so I was very happy to be thrown without bounds. If I was in the strike zone, I got a perfect score of 10, so if I get another chance, I’d like to throw a strike next time.”
Ikee is targeting the Paris 2024 Olympic Games for individual events.