Olympic Softball is back: KKTV sits down with USA Softball legend Cat Osterman
TOKYO, JAPAN (KKTV) -After years watching from the sideline, USA Softball is finally gearing up to compete on the world’s biggest stage--the 2021 Tokyo Olympics this summer.
This week, KKTV sat down with USA Softball pitching legend Cat Osterman to find out why she came out of retirement and how the team is preparing.
Back in 2005, baseball and softball were officially voted out of the Olympics--a decision that haunted current and hopeful athletes.
“There was just a finality that stung,” Osterman said. “Obviously we would have loved to win the gold medal but obviously our Olympic careers were over for the foreseeable future.”
Then the pandemic hit--pushing the games back even more. Osterman continued playing professionally but ultimately retired from the sport in 2015. Three years later she returned for a chance at gold again after the Olympic Committee voted the sport back in. She says she wanted to mentor younger players, paying forward the lessons taught to her over the years.
“Obviously in 2004 I was the youngest, 2008 I was kind of in the middle of the pack, and now I’m the oldest, and part of that is the reason I came out of retirement.”
Right now, USA Softball is currently training in California prepping for the Olympics that are supposed to begin in late July. Osterman and company are looking forward to taking the diamond and facing the world’s top competition.
“There’s not really going to be any easy games for us when we get over to the Olympics and we are expecting that,” she said. “I think this will be the most competitive Olympic Games softball has ever seen, which will be exciting for our sport.”
A competition that elite softball players around the world weren’t sure would ever happen, now only months away from the first pitch.
“So for us as athletes, we are obviously a little more grateful for everyday we are on the field together and be able to play together.”
Osterman says another reason she is excited to compete is to show girls everywhere that softball is for everyone and inspire them to play.
The Olympic games will begin on July 23rd of this year.
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