Softball optimistic for 2012 Reconsideration

Jan. 26, 2006, 1:17 p.m. (ET)
In just over two weeks, the XXth Olympic Winter Games will come to the forefront of the sporting world from Torino. First however, it is an Olympic Summer sport that could make headlines in the same city in Italy when the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) 118th Session begins exactly two weeks from today. Don Porter, President of the International Softball Federation (ISF), the sport’s world governing body, has led efforts to get reconsideration of softball’s Olympic status for the 2012 Games programme put on the agenda for the Torino meetings since the IOC Session in Singapore last July.
Last summer, women’s softball was taken off the programme of the 2012 Summer Games in London following a vote that was very close and, as a result, led the ISF to immediately begin to seek reconsideration.
Today Mr. Porter is on his way to Australia, where the 1st Commonwealth Softball Championship is about to begin. The hope is that softball will be added to the programme of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. “Our sport is already on the programme of 16 multisport games, which shows its universality and thus counters a previously reported criticism of softball not being a global sport,” Mr. Porter said.
He also pointed out that softball has many additional qualities that mirror what is expected of an Olympic sport, such as a clean doping record, the best athletes participating in the Games, low cost venues that will get continued use following the Olympics, and the promotion of women in sport, to name a few.
The ISF President will attend the IOC Session in Torino accompanied by ISF Executive Vice President/Olympic Softball Mrs. HE Huixian (China), ISF Deputy Secretary General Ms. LOW Beng Choo (Malaysia), and ISF VP/Europe Mrs. Jelena (Tomic) CUSAK (Croatia). Mr. Porter said he will go there cautiously optimistic. “We’ve talked to many people who support reconsideration of women’s softball for the 2012 Olympics. Now we need the re-vote to solidify our rightful reinstatement. Millions and millions of softball athletes, coaches, umpires, administrators, parents, and fans around the world are all waiting for it.”
The ISF is the world governing body of the sport as recognized by the
International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Softball (women's fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 127 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide.
MEDIA: For more information, please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak, (1.813) 864 0100, ext. 229, or (1.813) 453 8762 (cell).