6 Questions With USA Softball Legend Michele Smith

By Matt Swenson, October 24, 2018

Why did you make it a point to lead the charge to get softball back into the Olympics after it was taken off the program?

It was very disappointing when the IOC made some very political decisions. Softball as a sport can be very nondiscriminatory toward body type. You can be fast or slow. There’s a position for everybody, unlike some sports where you have to be fast or tall. It was very depressing to know all those younger generations couldn’t have the Olympic dream. I made it a point to go out and try to get sport back into Olympics. It was as a lot of work and it didn’t happen right away, but being back on the Tokyo 2020 games program is huge for our sport and for a whole generation of female athletes.

In 2012, you became the first woman to broadcast a major league game when those same teams played. How far have women come since then?

That was a big moment—a celebration of Title IX. TBS did good job of being ahead of curve. I love that one my friends and teammates, Jessica Mendoza, is now calling “Sunday Night Baseball” for ESPN. She brings a lot to the table it opens the possibility for more women. A lot of things are changing for women, and that’s important. Opportunities weren’t given to women and that was unfortunate, and now we are showing women can make a difference in every field.

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