Kissimmee, FL– August 4, 2016- Yesterday the International Olympic Committee unanimously voted to add softball to the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo alongside baseball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.
It’s a decision that is long overdue in the minds of the softball community and it is once again a reality for young girls to dream of representing red, white and blue on the world’s biggest softball stage.
“This is a great day for our sport, getting back into the Olympics is huge. So many young girls can dream again of winning a gold medal, getting to wear “USA” across their chest and represent the greatest country in the world. A big thank you goes out to everyone that was involved in making this day happen,” commented Pride right fielder Kelly Kretschman.
Kretschman, currently the only active Pride player to have been a part of the Olympic team back in 2004 & 2008 knows perfectly well what it takes to represent USA softball and hasn’t slowed down since her time with Team USA. Kretschman presently leads the National Pro Fastpitch in seven offensive categories and will be heading back to her old stomping grounds in two weeks to represent USSSA in the NPF National Championship Series in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Current Pride Assistant Coach, Andrea Duran, was also a part of the 2008 Team USA roster alongside some former Pride greats such as Cat Osterman, Caitlin Lowe, Lauren Lappin, Natasha Watley and Jessica Mendoza.
In the four years the USA Softball Women’s National Team has been a part of the Olympics, Team USA has captured three consecutive gold medals (1996, 2000, 2004) and is one of only two women’s Olympic sports to do so. In 2008, Team USA finished second in Japan for the silver before softball was removed from the Olympic Games but the dream for all softball players to represent USA in the Olympics has never dwindled..
Just 11 days ago, the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed their first WBSC Women’s World Championship title since 2010 after defeating Japan 7-3. Pride rookies Haylie McCleney, Aubree Munro and Kelsey Stewart all represented Team USA in the gold medal finale.
Since 2008, it has been the ultimate goal to bring the dream back for future generations of softball players and now it is a reality. We are ready for Tokyo 2020.
The dream is alive and can become one for so many! Softball is back in the Olympics for 2020! This is huge!
— Lauren Chamberlain (@LChamberlain44) August 3, 2016
Softballs back in the Olympics… It’s about damn time!⚾️👏🏼 #ShowOut #Olympics
— Sierra Joy Romero (@Sierrajoy32) August 3, 2016
THE dream is alive again for our sport!! #Tokyo2020
— Keilani Ricketts (@laniricketts10) August 3, 2016
YES SOFTBALL IS BACK IN FOR 2020!!! ❤️💙 But the very best part of this decision is that my… https://t.co/vmabhKCPtD
— Aubree Munro (@aubree1munro) August 3, 2016
A dream that was takin away from as athletes has now become a reality again! I can’t express how happy I am! #Tokyo2020 #USASoftball 😍😍😭😭🇺🇸
— Kelsey Stewart (@stewartkels7) August 3, 2016
IT IS OFFICIAL!!!!! Softball is BACK for 2020!!!!!!!!! I CANT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT!!!!! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Haylie McCleney (@hayliemac8) August 3, 2016
Tokyo 2020 Here We Come! ⚾️⚾️😍😍😍🇺🇸🇯🇵
— Megan Leigh Wiggins (@TheMeganWiggins) August 3, 2016
Softball is back in!!! #2020
— Courtney Ceo (@CourtneyCeo22) August 3, 2016
So excited for softball being back in the Olympics!!! Gotta get that gold medal back🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
— Kelly Kretschman (@yankeekk12) August 3, 2016
🇺🇸2020 Olympics…. Softball/Baseball is coming for you ‼️
— Jolene Henderson (@Jolenecal54) August 3, 2016
The softball world officially smiled 2gether 2day-shout out 2all that worked so passionately 4this opportunity👊🏻👏🏽👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/kl1tT9keTg
— Lonni Alameda (@Coach_Alameda) August 3, 2016
About USSSA Florida Pride: The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
About USSSA: The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF): National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball