Jennie Finch to IOC
February 18 2011
Olympic Softball star Jennie Finch was among the speakers who addressed the annual International Olympic Committee conference in Los Angeles last night. Spy will post a separate storey on the IOC.
Thank you! This is truly such a special award, I want to thank Intelius for sponsoring this incredible event and the IOC for having this convention. I would also like to thank the International Softball Federation for providing the platform to reach so many young female athletes from all over the world.
This award is one of the greatest awards that I have received because it goes beyond the playing field which I like to call the magical gift of sport. That magical gift inspires others and makes a difference with the platform we’ve been given. When I was young 8 year old girl with pigtails and a glove in the back yard with my two older brothers; I had a dream of competing in the greatest sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games. I was blessed with the opportunity to be part of 2 Olympic Teams and to see the sport of softball grow and to be played now in over 130 countries. I have seen the growth and witnessed first hand the development on all 7 continents. There are millions of softball players in all of the world with the same dream that I had. I hope this can one day be a reality for them as it was for myself. I would like to accept this award tonight on behalf of the women that paved the way, along with the millions of softball players who deserve this very same opportunity, who are right now 8-years old and looking for a dream to hang on to, a dream to play in the Olympic Games.
I know this is about the Power of I and I am fully aware of the power of I. We all can make a difference, we all have it within us to make this world a better place and leave a mark. However I am part of a team sport and there is no I in team. There are so many softball players, teammates, trainers, and coaches making a difference in softball. This award is for the sport of softball and the millions of players all across the world that have the Olympic Dream.
This ball was a first pitch ball that was thrown in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. I wanted to bring this up here as a symbol of hope that it will one day be back in the Olympic Games where it belongs. During last night’s opening ceremonies, several leaders of the Olympic movement spoke of percentages and female participation and growth. Lets get that 45% female participation number to 50%. As an Olympian, I stand here today and challenge all of you to make those numbers increase for the future. As a female athlete we are supposed to leave the game with greater opportunity for the next generation and unfortunately this wasn’t the case for me and my teammates. Instead, the platform, foundation, and dreams that were established through appearances in four Olympic Games were taken away. As we, as softball, continue to forge ahead for reinstatement, I ask you to please help softball get back in the Olympic Games and allow others to experience the magic ……… the magic of sport…… and the magic of the Olympic Games.