USA Softball

August 19, 2004
It is safe to say that things are going well for the USA Softball Team so far! With another win yesterday versus China, we are now 4-0 and playing good softball. The competition itself is getting interesting, as Canada beat Japan yesterday in a big upset. So as the week progresses, the softball competition keeps getting hotter and hotter...along with the weather!
At breakfast this morning, I sat witha couple of teammates and we counted on our hands only 6 more days until our fate will be sealed. SIX DAYS...such a small span of time in relation to the years of preparation that go into the Olympic Games. Less than a week and we will be "former" Olympians instead of "current" Olympians. We will head back to our respective hometowns, families, husbands, and normal routines. Life will slow down considerably and we will know the feel of our own beds again.
BUT...until then there is more business to attend to. Coach Candrea talked about "the long road ahead" last night. How true it is. We, of all teams, know that it "ain't" over 'till it's over - see Sydney in 2000. Three losses does NOT mean that it is over, and we have to remember that from the other side of the fence. We came back from the brink of elimination to win the Gold, and I am sure that Japan is using our experience in Sydney to motivate them now.
We've got a long road ahead, and one that ultimately leads to the pot of Gold.

August 11, 2004

Hello from 7500 miles away! We are going on two weeks in Athens, so needless to say we are used to Village life! It is amazing how with every passing day the Village gets more and more packed, and the athletes from around the globe continue to arrive. We were one of the first teams here in Athens, so to see it now...it really is like a small country! 

The countdown is officially on, as we have three more practice days, and then we have our opening game versus Italy. Because we have been here for so long, the anticipation of actually getting on the Olympic field is killing us! Each day we arrive at the venue knowing we are 24 hours closer to getting this show on the road. These last couple of weeks have been good for us, giving us a chance to feel the energy surge of the Olympic experience, and then get somewhat settled in before the competition starts. There is no doubt that our energy will ramp up again when the games start, but I think it will be more tempered than if we had just arrived in Athens and started playing.

The USA section of the Village is really like a who's who in American sports. Not everyone has arrived yet, but it is very cool to see Michael Phelps and the rest of the swimmers in the dining hall, then seeing and saying hiKerri Walsh and Misty May (beach volleyball players and stars of the Visa commercial on TV back in the States) as they are walking down the street. The list goes on and on, but the reality of being "one of them" as an Olympian is very invigorating.

We only hope to do the USA proud by taking care of business andwinning the Gold!

Take care and keep us in your prayers!

Stacey