International Olympic Committee will not reinstate softball for the 2016 Olympic Games
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Softball will not be included in the programme for the 2016 Olympic Games as the 15 members of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board decided Thursday at a meeting in Berlin. One of the seven sports in contention for the 2016 Games, softball was passed over in favor of golf and rugby as the list of possible additions was narrowed down to a final two candidates.
As you can see from above, it was a sad day for softball globally.
I was so saddened and disheartened by the announcement today by the IOC. So many have worked so hard playing, coaching, supporting, this great game of softball to get it where it is today. I, in my short time of 25 years playing this game have seen and experienced it transcend, transcend beyond imagination. Thanks to the many before us, past,present, and future. The opportunities, growing, expanding, becoming... finally. It is played in over 130 countries. We have never had a positive drug test in our sport. We send our best players. I could go on and on. In 2008, having Venezuela qualify for its first Olympic games in our sport is proof that we are growing. Japan getting its first Olympic Gold in our sport. It's Botswana qualifying for World Championships, these opportunities. What an amazing accomplishment for them all! Regarding Olympics, now we will not ever know Who would be there in 2012? Take Gold? 2016?
Luckily here in the US we are blessed! We are blessed with the incredible NCAA as a goal, a hope to achieve along with getting your education. We are so very very lucky! We have the NPF and PFX pro leagues to look forward to, to hope for. There will still be USA softball.
My heart is deeply saddened for the many countries who will not have this funding and the many opportunities that we have. Honestly, it will be tough to continue the growth globally that we have had with our sport without the funding and it not being an Olympic Sport. This makes my heart ache.
People asked me today if I would've played in 2016? I can't even begin to think about me in this situation. I've had the chance! Its the girls who didn't get the chance, the future! The millions of girls who play this sport world wide. Its the girls in Venezuela and Botswana that is who my heart aches for. As a female athlete and ambassador, your goal/hope is to create more for the future. It's to leave the game and know that you have seen it grow and now it is better because of your era. This makes me feel as though we let the future of our sport down. Opportunities now are not what they were, we today took a step backwards as a sport. For this, I am deeply hurt and sad!
Yet there is the future, there is those millions of girls out there... We will continue to fight the fight! I, being married to a MLB player especially realize how far we have to go, a long long ways. Ace at 3 years old has noticed it, "Mommy wheres your clubhouse?" Yes, I have seen how far we have come but today again I am reminded how far we still have to go!
There still will be a USA softball, so girls can still have the dream of wearing red, white, and blue! No, it won't be in the Olympics but it still will be the chance to compete for your great country. This is what we have to build upon. Our sport is too great not to prevail. We have to move on, continue to create opportunity for women in our sport all over the world! We look forward to hosting World Championships next year on our soil in Oklahoma City, next July! This is the event of the world, now "our" Olympics. As softball fans and players all we can do is play it and support it. Continue to prove to our world what a great sport we all know it is.
Young girls out there we pledge to do our best, give it everything we have! Our goal is for more, more opportunity for you than what we had/have! This being said next week there will be some incredible softball being played in Akron, Ohio. The NPF finals! For those of you who do not know, YES we have a pro league! The National Pro Fastpitch! Come out, support, be uplifted by watching some of the worlds best compete! We open up Thursday and finals are til Sunday finishing with a 1 Champion! I look forward to seeing you there!
Dreaming & Always Always Believing!!!!