Softball President Lauds Sochi's Flame Plans

Recent media reports have revealed plans bythe Sochi2014 Winter Olympics organizing committee to send the Olympic

Flame into space in the lead-up to the Games. International SoftballFederation President Don Porter reacted to the news with compliments forthis initiative.

"While it is typically our policy not to comment on Olympic host citiesor bid cities, this occasion merits an exception. We had sent asoftball into space back in 1989, so the plans disclosed by Sochi2014brought back memories," the ISF president explained. "This goes aboveand beyond the traditional torch relay and I'm sure the organizers willsee it through. Our member softball federation in Russia has alwaysbeen ambitious with their projects, such as our Eastern European

Regional Training Center in their country, so it's not entirely asurprise that the nation will have another sporting achievement to takepride in on top of hosting the Winter Games."

Mr. Porter's historic reference centers around space shuttle missionSTS-34. Under the leadership of Don Williams, the October 18, 1989,mission included a softball that now sits on display in the ISF's worldheadquarters. (Captain Williams had personally returned the softball toMr. Porter on March 2, 1990.) Alongside the ball in the Plant City,Florida, offices are a patch containing the names of the crew members(McCulley, Baker, Lucid, and Chang-Diaz) as well as an 8x10 color photoof the crew, with signatures and "To: Don Porter, from the crew ofSTS-34."

The ISF president noted that the world governing body still has itssights set on establishing the ISF Hall of Fame & Museum at its worldheadquarters complex, "For mementos such as these, not to mention, ofcourse, recognizing all those that have been elected to the ISF Hall ofFame over the years.

"It's important to preserve memories, and I commend the Sochi2014organizers for their unique plans to create new memories."

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