The US team, which won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in 1996, 2000 and 2004 and a silver medal at the 2008 Games after being defeated by Japan, will make its fifth Olympic appearance in Tokyo. Cat Osterman, who was on the last two American teams, is on this year’s roster at 38.
Yet there was some dissatisfaction on social networks that the game was played on a baseball field rather than a softball field, which would be smaller with an infield made entirely of dirt, rather than a mixture of dirt and grass.
Essentials of the Summer Olympics
At the Athens Games in 2004 and the Beijing Games in 2008, host cities built softball fields as part of their Olympic infrastructure.
“I don’t care how the field looks, we’re happy he’s back and we’ve been waiting for a very long time,” Danielle O’Toole Trejo, who plays for the Mexico national team and is also a player in Athletes Unlimited , wrote on Twitter. “Our game is NOT going to change. We are GOOD enough to adapt. “
The Olympic comeback of sport, however, is bittersweet. There is no guarantee that softball will be featured in other Games.
“Our sport needs it,” said Finch. “It’s crucial for our sport on a global scale to be at the Olympics, to have our presence and to have the platform to show how great a game it is.”