International Softball Federation (ISF) President Don Porter and six softball athletes will meet tomorrow, Tuesday, October 4, in Lausanne, Switzerland, with Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  The discussion will focus on softball having been dropped from the Olympic Program for the Summer Games in 2012 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,’ ” Mr. 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 Mr. Porter will be softball players who have competed in regional, world, and Olympic competitions, as well as ISF Director of Competition Laurie Gouthro – herself a former softball player and coach.  The group of current athletes 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 Olympic Softball team at the Games in Athens in August 2004.  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, 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 at 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.

MEDIA: For more information, please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at brucew@internationalsoftball.com, (1.813) 864 0100, ext. 229, or (1.813) 453 8762 (cell).