USA Softball arrives in Athens

July 29, 2004, 10:13 a.m. (ET)
USA Softball arrives in Athens

ATHENS, GREECE – After a long 24 hour day of travel across the globe, the USA Softball Olympic team landed in Athens, Greece on Thursday evening to begin preparation to defend its Olympic gold medal. The U.S. will train in Athens for 16 days before it takes the field on August 14 to battle the world through August 23. 

“I just can’t believe we are here,” said first-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza. “The team is fired up and ready to continue preparation to represent the United States and bring home the gold.”

The team will go through processing with the United States Olympic Committee on Thursday before taking the practice field on Friday. During processing, the National Team will receive its opening ceremonies apparel, sizing for Olympic rings and briefings on topics related to the Games.

USA Softball, which has been ranked No. 1 in the world for 18 consecutive years, will attempt to win its third consecutive Olympic gold medal when it takes the field on August 14. After its opening game versus Italy, the U.S. faces each of the medalist from the past two Olympics in succession. The U.S. faces 1996 and 2000 bronze medalist Australia on August 15, the 2000 silver medalist Japan on August 16, and 1996 silver medalist China on August 17.