Sunday, August 24, 2008

Team USA Softball Loss a Good Thing For Olympic Softball?

Believe it or not, Team USA’s championship game loss to Japan might be a good thing for Softball’s future in the Olympics. Since softball’s induction to the Olympics in 1996, the U.S. has won gold in Atlanta ’96, Sidney ’00, and Athens ’02. The reason Softball has been voted out of the Olympics is because of Team USA’s dominance. For example, in Athens, Team USA outscored their opponents 51-1, and they had a combined Olympic record of 24-4 heading in to the Beijing Games. Softball and baseball, which are both being removed from the Olympics, are polar opposites. USA baseball is being blasted for not sending their best players, while Cuba brings in their best as well as Japan sending the Japanese Major- Leaguers. Meanwhile, it can be said that Team USA brings their absolute strongest team year after year. While the USA doesn’t have a professional softball league, the USA College Softball program is regarded as the best in the world. What are we to make of one loss? It may be a fluke, although it could be construed as Team USA’s international dominance faltering.