Thursday, August 13, 2009

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!!!!



jacquelinefigueroa said...

Wow! I played softball in high school & was bummed to hear this. I can only imagine how heartbreaking this is for you girls. :(
Don't lose heart!

AmSnyder said...

I played softball for 13 years and I cant even begin to explain what the sport did for me. It was my life and I still am very passionate about the game. I cant believe they passed it over, it really is heart breaking. The sport was finally starting to get the recognition it deserved, it was minimal recognition but it was a step toward the positive. I dont know what I would have done without softball...this truly breaks my heart I wish there was something we could do. If there is anything I'm in just let me know. Thank you for being such a positive role model and influence for young girls everywhere. You rock Jennie!! USA Softball Forever!!!

Ruben.21 said...

I loved that Jennie! Im also Saddened about the rejection! >:( But I know that with you and all the women who support softball, softball will continue to grow as a sport! :)#27 Rox and so does Softball!!! :)

katrina21 said...

I am a 16 year old high school softball player and i have always looked up to the USA Softball team and of course you. Hearing that the IOC decided not to include softball in the 2016 Olympics just broke my heart but I knew that it was not the end of softball. It will keep on being our favorite sport and we will keep playing it to the fullest. I was watching the NPF game yesterday with the Bandits vs. the Thunder and I saw how great everyone did especially you... you threw a 1 hitter!! I am just gonna keep believing and having fun playing the sport I know and love. Thank you Jennie for being my role model. USA Softball will never be forgotten.

<3 always Katrina

Bianca said...

Jen, I'm so sorry! I saw your twitter update yesterday and my heart dropped.

Really, if speed walking remains in the Olympics and softball doesn't I think we should all chuck a softball at the IOC building and then speed-walk away :) Bu then, that's just me :)

Gator said...

Very well said. It's our jobs to keep the sport I've & thriving now. No matter at which level you play or coach. We will overcome this-I believe that with ever fiber of my being. We all have our own battles to give the girls the opportunities that they deserve. I'm not giving up, throwing in the towel & ready to let the girls down. If anything I'm just more determined than ever to see dreams come true!

Teen Queen said...

Okay! I was really mad when I first heard they didn't vote for it to be in the Olympics BUT I did read somewhere that if we could get every single of them to vote in October it would overturn the decision. We need to make shirts, videos, posters! Everything! We can't just take this! I know we can make it happen because girls who play softball (including myself) are passionate and will do anything to win and prove that softball is one of the top sports in USA.

Anonymous said...

I needed a day to cool down from the disappointment of this decision..which is more frustrating and disheartening than surprising. Women have always had to work that much harder to get their sports the credit and attention they deserve but with each setback..we will just have to work that much harder to make those dreams happen.

Jennie you are such a GREAT ambassador for the game! You take the fame and talent that you have been blessed with and use it on a global level to help strengthen the fan support and get more exposure for the sport you love. Thank you for that! Never stop dreaming and believing. There's millions of young girls out there, as you know, that desire to have the same opportunities as their male counterparts to pursue the sport they love so much with a passion. You are opening doors and laying that groundwork everyday whether you realize it or not. This is a setback...but the game is farrrrrrrrrr from over!

The World Cup is here next year. We need to take the time to promote this thing so it becomes as big as the Women's Soccer World Cup did many years back. So that that the names like Finch,Osterman,Lowe and Abbott can become household names and young girls can sport the USA softball jerseys proudly. It can happen. We are here supporting the dream as well. Keep the faith.

xoxo Trisha :)

TLM17 said...

Wow I just can't believe the IOCs decison...its unbelievable. It is very sad as I know soo many of you have worked so hard to keep things moving in the positive direction and I have faith that we all will continue to do so. It will just take more people getting involved and standing up for what we believe in. I have no doubt in my mind that it can and will be done for the future of softball and all those young girls that have that dream. I have been playing softball for almost 20 thats crazy to think about that.

Thank you so much for your support and dedication...just know that it wasn't for nothing and that all that hard work will pay off.

"We know that God will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose"
(Romans 8:28).

God is working behind the scenes in your life today. No matter what you may be facing, no matter what trial you may be going through, God has a plan to turn things around in your favor. Right now, He is working out a plan for your good. Right now, He is orchestrating the right people to come across your path. He is orchestrating the right opportunities to open up to you. You may not see it in the natural, but look with your eyes of faith today. Keep standing. Keep believing. Keep hoping. Keep following His Word. Focus on His goodness in your life, knowing that He rewards the people who seek after Him. As you meditate on the faithfulness of God and show your love for Him by following His Word, you will see His plan come to pass. You'll experience His peace and joy, and you will live in victory all the days of your life!

God Bless you and your family Jennie.


kaishimama said...

Son and my physical condition was bad for these several days.
Therefore, the thing that the choice is not in the Olympics whose baseball and softball are 2016 years learnt this morning.
Baseball of Japan has the professional league. However, there is no professional league in softball.
The thing not chosen Olympic event is a thing for children to deprive of the dream.
The thing that participants do not decrease prays by this result.
And, baseball and softball are wider in the world, and it prays for the day that can be revived to the game of the Olympics.

khia said...

im a 16 year old softball player in high school and i have watched USA softball in the olympics for a long time and i have looked up to USA softball and you, when i read this my heart just dropped to my feet im so disapointed and very sad, i was hopen that it would come back for 2016, last olympics 2008 i stayed up all night for softball driken mountain dew and things just to stay awake for softball, i stayed up i think for 4 nights to watch softball. im very sad i can only imagine how you girls feel.

keep believeing

Marc said...

Thank you for continuing to help promote the sport of softball. You presence makes young girls hopeful.

Adrienne said...

I am horribly saddened by this decision. My 12 year old daughter dreams of having her name on a team usa jersey someday.

sky said...

I am so sad:( I'm only 13 yrs old and now my dream of going to the olympics and wearing a gold medal is over.I am wishing that they will put softball back into the olympics. If they don't, then I dont know what i'll do...

Tania said...

All I can say is @#$%!@# $^(*%@#$ *&!!!!!!!
I hope everyone can decode that!!!