3-time Games medalist says “softball adds a fabulous dimension to the Olympic Games”

Plant City, Florida (USA); 30th July 2009: Angela Ruggiero, considered one of the most prominent women’s ice hockey players in the world, has spoken publicly in favor of softball’s reinstatement to the Olympic Games.

A three-time Olympic medalist who is aiming to also compete at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Ruggiero is also a three-time world champion.

“Women’s softball adds a fabulous dimension to the Olympic Games,” the Harvard University graduate said. “Countless female athletes compete at the very highest level of international competition, fulfilling Olympic ideals and showcasing their unique sport to the world. It opened the eyes of young girls everywhere to the beauty of the game and the multi-faceted skills each player brings with her.

“I truly believe that this team sport, like my own, provides the Olympics with the ingredients it seeks to provide opportunities for these gifted women from more than 125 nations to play for Olympic gold on the world’s greatest stage.

“I’m proud to lend my name and full support to the reinstatement of softball to the programme of the 2016 Olympic Games.”

A member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, Ruggiero has traveled to countries such as Afghanistan, Qatar, and Uganda as part of her extensive off-ice humanitarian activities.

Two-time Olympic softball medalist Jessica Mendoza, a BackSoftball Athlete Ambassador, said, “Softball’s reinstatement campaign is further enhanced by support from a fellow Olympian. Angela has the experience of playing a women’s team sport at the highest level and knows what this all lends to the Olympic Movement. I’ve also admired her significant accomplishments off the ice and feel that they parallel what a lot of us in the international softball community work to achieve as well. She’s a great addition to our efforts to get our sport back on the world’s stage for 2016.”

Softball was first featured in the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and last year’s competition in Beijing was very successful with a total attendance close to 180,000 and a continuation of the sport’s excellent record of no positive doping tests at any of the four Summer Olympics that the sport has been a part of.

A final decision on which sports will be added to the current roster of 26 at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will be made at the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen in October this year.

Further information is available in the OTHER DOCUMENTS section of www.BackSoftball.com

For more information please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at brucew@internationalsoftball.com, +1 813 864 0100 or +1 813 453 8762 or David Alexander at David.Alexander@Calacus.com or +44 7802 412424.