Chat with Jennie Finch
Finch went 119-16 at Arizona, including an NCAA record 60 straight wins.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, former U.S. Olympic softball medalist Jennie Finch stops by to chat about Sunday's announcement that wrestling beat out the baseball/softball pitch to get reinstated to the Olympic games.
Finch, @jfinch27, is a former professional softball pitcher who won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens and a silver medal in 2008 in Beijing before retiring from the sport. In college, she was a two-time National Player of the Year at Arizona.
Baseball and softball were eliminated from the Olympics after the 2008 Games and Sunday's ruling means they will not appear in the 2016 nor 2020 Games.
Send your questions now and join Finch Monday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (2:04 PM)
Jennie is here!
Does this decision disappoint you ?
Jennie Finch (2:05 PM)
Heartbroken. Once again devastated. We had high hopes going into the weekend. We've all seen our sport grow beyond our imagination, not only in the U.S. but all over the world, so it hurts seeing the chance for an athlete go away. It's still hard wondering why we were eliminated in the first place. But we'll keep working on growing our game.
Veronika (Czech republic)
Hello, do you think that softball would have a better chance to get to the Olympics without baseball? I am very sad about it and I really don't understand it! I am sure that both the sports deserve to be there! Veronika
Jennie Finch (2:07 PM)
That's a tough question. It's hard. It's a tough decision, but the ISF did what it thought best for the sport and it joined with baseball. Baseball has the Major Leagues. In softball, we don't have that. It's hard to speculate and guess. We had a strong campaign together. It's nice to have the clout of baseball. I know softball would send its best players. Over 140 countries play. It's a great spectator sport.
It seems the IOC gave FILA direction so that wrestling could get back into the Games. Did softball receive similar direction?
Jennie Finch (2:08 PM)
I don't know, unfortunately. There is so much that we don't hear about and don't know. I know the ISF has been working extremely hard over the past 6-7 years to help get us back in. I know baseball and softball felt if they joined together, that would be their best shot.
How big of a disservice did the IOC do for women's athletics in leaving out sport for women?
Jennie Finch (2:09 PM)
I think it's tough. We were in the perfect position when we were competing. It had never been more popular. The Olympics are supposed to be about gender equality. Adding softball would be a perfect way to make that statement come true. A big testament was to Jacques Rogue and his statement and he mentioned only baseball. He said to baseball, the best of luck and not mentioning softball. That was hard to understand.
Jennie Finch (2:09 PM)
The sports added have been things like rugby and that's not a sport dominated by women either.
Jennie, I read that wrestling spent $6 million on their reinstatement campaign...do you think they bought their way back into the Games?
Jennie Finch (2:10 PM)
I read an article too that they spent $8 million and squash and baseball/softball spent 1 million. I don't think that's the exact reason. I think wrestling belongs in the Games. I don't know why it was eliminated in the first place. There's room for both wrestling and our sport.
Since it seems a lot of people are upset with the deicsion to eliminate sports, why doesn't the IOC just change the number of sports it allows in the Games?
Jennie Finch (2:12 PM)
There is so much that goes into it, that goes beyond my control. I am not a member of the IOC, I would love to be. There are a lot of history into why. There is only a certain amount of sports that can play. I read that because of the president change in the IOC that in 5 months, it can revisit it and they can revisit how many sports allowed in the program. So, we're not sure, but we may have the opportunity in 5 months to get back in. With Tokyo hosting it, we're encouraged because baseball and softball are popular in Japan.
How worried are you that the sport could lose a generation of fans, since softball will go at least 16 years between Olympic appearances?
Jennie Finch (2:13 PM)
The further you are away from the Games, the harder it is to get back in. Fortunately, in the U.S. our college game hasn't been more popular. Internationally, I think that's where it will hit the hardest. You lose a lot of funding when it's not an Olympic sport. They were just getting their feet under them. We saw it with 2008 with the Japan beating the U.S. These programs are growing.
Do you think there's anything the softball bid could have done differently?
Jennie Finch (2:15 PM)
It's hard position to be in. We have to back our leaders and go with them, as far as making the right decisions to get back in. It's tough, because I've seen, experienced, witnessed the game. I know we should be there in my heart. That's the hardest part of the situation, seeing our sport internationally crushed.
Kim (Suwanee, Ga)
By the time the next vote comes around, my daughter will be to old to live her dream of playing softball for her country. How can we get more pro teams established and promoted so that she can fulfill her other dream of playing pro?
Jennie Finch (2:17 PM)
Put your money where your mouth is. We have to support women's athletics. Women have to suport women. Men have to support women. We have to support it. We have teams now and we have to support it. We have to grow USA Softball. There is still the international tournaments. We need to support the team there. There are only 15 girls that can wear that Team USA jersey, but education is first and foremost. Also, to support the companies that support our sport. That's why I'm so glad to be on the Capital One Cup advisory board that help support women's athletics.
When does softball start petitioning to be included in the 2024 Games?
Jennie Finch (2:18 PM)
I'll work closes with the ISF and anything and everything I can to continue help grow our game. Use my work as much as I can to help support the dreams of girls all across the world.
Do you think softball will ever re-enter the Olympics ?
Jennie Finch (2:19 PM)
I hope. I'll continue hoping. I'll continue doing whatever it takes to help increase those odds. But right now, I'm holding on to the hope that Tokyo's hosting and that they can help campaign to get softball and baseball back in.
Jennie Finch (2:20 PM)
Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement. Hopefully we can help a lot of those Olympic dreams come back.