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ISF's Porter, Six Athletes to Meet IOC's Rogge

International Softball Federation President Don Porter and six softball athletes will meet Tuesday, October 4, in Lausanne, Switzerland, with Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee. The discussion will focus on softball having been dropped from the Olympic Program for the 2012 Games in London by way of a close vote this summer (52 ‘yes’ ballots, 52 ‘no’ ballots, and one abstention). 

“I am encouraged by recent media reports that the IOC President has expressed the possibility of reconsideration of the decision (by the IOC Session in July) in Singapore in that ‘there were precedents for the full IOC to reconsider a decision,’ ” Porter said. “I am optimistic that this unified effort by our softball delegation will show Mr. Rogge and the IOC members that, almost three months after the vote, we remain committed to getting our sport back on the 2012 Program, just as we’ve always been dedicated to growing softball globally and keeping it as a world-class sport that projects the Olympic image and ideals – especially its promotion of women.” 

Accompanying Porter will be softball players who have competed in regional, world and Olympic competitions, as well as ISF Director of Competition Laurie Gouthro, a former softball player and coach. The group of current athletes scheduled to attend the meeting includes: Joanna Bouziou (Greece), Alison Bradley (Canada), Mayumi Murakami (Japan), Michele Smith (USA), Jelena Tomic (Croatia), and Maria Jesus Vázquez (Spain). 

Attending Athletes At-a-Glance 
Bouziou was the captain of the Greek softball team at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Bradley represented her country last year in Greece, too, and has also played in a women’s world championship, the Pan American Games (silver medal in 2003) and various cup events. Murakami, a TV sportscaster in Japan, played for her country’s national team (including at the Canada Cup) as well as in the Japanese industrial league, and now plays in the USA. Smith, among other on-field accomplishments, won a gold medal in softball’s first two Olympic appearances (1996 & 2000) and now plays softball in Japan. Tomic, the Secretary General of the Croatian Softball Federation and Vice Chair of the ISF’s Athletes Commission, has played in one world championship, two Olympic qualifiers, and five European Championships. Vázquez has been playing since 1988, which includes competing in her national league’s top division for nine years. Among other roles, she is a vice president of the European Softball Federation (ESF), a board member of Spain’s national softball federation, and head coach of a girls’ 18-under team.