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The USA Softball Women’s National Team has completed its ‘Aiming for Athens’ tour and is now set to depart for Athens, Greece and the 2004 Olympic Games. The team begins its journey towards a golden Olympic three-peat on Wednesday, July 28 when it leaves for Athens. The U.S. will train in Athens for 16 days before it takes the field on August 14 to face Italy in its opening game. 

After the recent passing of his wife Sue, USA Head Coach Mike Candrea has announced he will be coaching the team in Athens. 

“After discussions with Coach Candrea he is committed to coaching the USA squad in Athens”, said Ronnie Isham, USA Softball National Teams Director. “The team will depart on July 28 and Coach Candrea will join the team on August 1.” 

“Sue was so excited about the upcoming Olympics and would want me to continue on with our dream,” said Candrea. “Our entire family is behind this decision and we know this is what she would want us to do. We have been overwhelmed with the support we have received over the past week and can’t express how much it has meant to our family.” 

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, 2000 silver medalist Japan on August 16, and 1996 silver medalist China on August 17.

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