On the Move, Softball Prsident Comments on Finch Retirement

PLANT CITY, FLORIDA (USA) -- International Softball Federation President Don Porter today commented on the impending retirement of pitcher Jennie Finch, who will compete for Team USA for the last time in a tournament that the world governing body’s leader is attending.

"I’m sorry to see Jennie leave the sport after a great career and her contributions to the development and recognition of the sport," the ISF president said. "She has been a great ambassador and the dedication she has displayed tells me that while she no longer will be on the playing field, Jennie will surely continue to stay involved with the game in other capacities.

"She is a great role model for not only up-and-coming softballers, but women in sports," Mr. Porter concluded.

The 2004 Olympic softball gold medalist and 2008 Olympic silver medalist is coming off of a gold medal finish at the ISF XII Women’s World Championship that ended 19 days ago in Caracas, Venezuela. She had also played in the two prior editions of that tournament (2006 in China and 2002 in Canada). Yesterday it was announced that Finch will participate with the Americans in World Cup of Softball 5, an ISF-sanctioned invitational tournament that starts tomorrow in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (USA), before retiring from the national team.

In yesterday’s statement Finch said, "Being able to see the sport grow so much in the past ten years is such an honor. It’s incredible how much it has grown not only in the United States but also internationally. Hopefully I will continue to be involved with the development of the sport in some way – just not in uniform."

The ISF president is currently in Oklahoma City, having arrived there yesterday from Lincoln, Nebraska, where he was attending the softball competition at the Special Olympics USA National Games. Next year softball will again be on the programme of the Special Olympics World Summer Games, with the 2011 edition taking place in Athens, Greece.

The ISF is the world governing body of the sport as recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations). Softball (women's fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 128 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide.

For more information contact: Bruce Wawrzyniak at brucew@ISFsoftball.org

As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors.

These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation.

Your complete source of news about the Olympics is www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only