Softball player Cat Osterman poses at a Team USA photoshoot in 2019.
In 2004, at my Olympic debut in Athens, one moment supersedes the rest.
It was the top of the seventh inning of the gold-medal game. We were up 5-1 on Australia, with one out to go.
Those of us in the dugout were holding hands in anticipation. Then we realized we were too close together to jump over the railing. So we quickly spread out just before the final out was made, and then jumped directly on cue.
Indescribable elation and joy.
The build-up of that last out — along with all the ups and downs and the 10+ hour bus rides we had endured — was all worth it.
It still remains the best moment I’ve ever experienced in sports. I don’t think anything can top winning an Olympic gold medal.
Today is bittersweet, marking one year again to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2021. Our team would like to be over there in Tokyo already, but obviously everyone’s safety and health is the top priority. It’s not under our control, so we just have to take it day by day. That potential indescribable feeling can wait.
Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was fairly easy for me to commit to working out from home and to go pitch in my driveway or a private facility I have access to. But as the pandemic has continued it’s become harder, especially the uncertainty of when it will end.
That was really starting to take a toll on me. It’s no secret I’m older, you know. I retired in 2015, but returned to the diamond in January of 2019.