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  • Softball Lobbies for Olympics Return


    International Softball Federation President Don Porter. 
    (ATR) An hour-long meeting today with the president of the International Olympic Committee is the latest ploy by softball athletes and officials in their campaign to return to the Olympics in 2012.

    Federation president Don Porter says IOC chief Jacques Rogge told the group "the door is open" for a re-consideration of softball during the IOC Session in Turin next February.

    The sport was knocked from the 2012 program in a vote July 8 during the Singapore IOC Session. Softball fell one vote short of the majority needed to stay on the program, a 52-52 vote tie, with one abstention.

    Porter says Rogge reminded his softball visitors that it will take a majority of the members for the IOC to consider another vote. And that two majority votes would be needed: one for reconsideration, the second on whether to reinstate the sports.

    Porter acknowledges to Around the Rings that well more than 52 votes will be needed for softball to succeed in February. He says IOC members are being recruited to the cause.

    "We have already started. Needless to say we need more than 52 votes. We will be moving quickly to gather support to ask for reconsideration for Torino," he says.

    "Certainly key IOC members, including Anita (DeFrantz), will be asked to not only for their vote, but also for getting others."

    Unless softball can rally the members, the next chance to rejoin will come in 2009 when the program for the 2016 Games is decid
    Up to bat for her sport: Jelena Tomic of Croatia is one of the six athletes who met with the IOC President. 

    Along with Porter at the meeting with IOC President were athletes Joanna Bouziou (Greece), Alison Bradley (Canada), Mayumi Murakami (Japan), Michele Smith (USA), Jelena Tomic (Croatia), and Maria Jesus Vázquez (Spain).

    Tomic spoke out on behalf of softball at the IOC Session at Mexico City in 2002, when the IOC put off recommendations to cut softball, baseball and modern pentathlon from the Beijing program.

    Baseball was the other sport cut in the IOC's vote this year at the Singapore Session, but the there's been little outcry over the loss, compared to softball, a women-only sport for the Olympics.

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