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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Softball makes its return to the 2028 Summer Olympic Games

SFSU women’s softball team shares what softball in the Olympics means to them
Graphic by Destiny Walker. (Destiny Walker/ Golden Gate Xpress)

Mia Masasi remembers attending a practice game before the Olympics officially started. She didn’t understand the magnitude of the significance of softball as a sport to be highlighted on an international stage or what it meant to her as a player, except that it was cool.

“At that point, I was so young. I was like, ‘Oh cool, softball in the Olympics,’ and now I think about it and I’m like, it’s a big thing. It means a lot to a lot of softball players, and I’m really excited about it,” said Misasi, a senior who plays shortstop.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was the last time softball was included as an Olympic sport.

Softball wasn’t considered or included in the Olympics until 1996. However, that only lasted for 12 years, ending its tenure in 2008. This alone helped boost the popularity of the sport as it would be on an international stage for millions of folks to discover, rediscover and continue to follow.

The L.A. 2028 organizing committee endorsed six sports to the International Olympic Committee to be included in the next games, softball being one of them. The IOC voted to approve them all to be a part of the games in L.A. It’s only befitting for softball to have its Olimpic comeback in L.A. After all, it’s a big part of American culture –– an opportunity for the world to get a taste of it.

“Being a senior, it’s important seeing the outcome on where softball’s gone from when I was younger. I feel like in a long sense of time people are like, ‘I want softball back, I want softball back’,”said Misasi.

Misasi has always heard that softball is one of the most fun sports to watch.

“It’s important to show another women’s sport to come back. It’s important to highlight women in sports and I feel like softball is a huge sport and it’s not showcased enough. It being showcased super big again is going to be incredible,” said Misasi.

Kai DeLeon, a junior who plays second base, is in agreement that softball is most entertaining but is least noticed by the media.

“We don’t get enough coverage on what we do out here. There’s a lot of things about baseball, all men’s sports. But as softball players, we don’t get the same exposure [as] everybody else. We work our butts off the same way,” said De Leon.

DeLeon coaches travel softball teams over the summer, and she sees the impact that softball has on the girls she coaches when it’s hosted on such a big stage as the Olympics.

“There are a lot of girls that I coach already who are just so into softball and they pick up all the people that are already in the Olympics like, for example, Cat Osterman, [who] has three medals,” said DeLeon. “She is the oldest to ever play softball in the Olympics and has made a big impact on everybody, for all softball athletes, not just those who are pitchers.”

Head coach Alicia Reid said that softball should be in every summer game from now on.

“It’s not guaranteed, and you would think with the growing popularity not only in the United States but definitely worldwide, that hopefully, it can be a staple in the Olympics, just like any other sport like swimming or track and field,” said Reid. “Hopefully, it’ll come back around and stay that way. It’s exciting to watch.”

Even though Reid’s role has switched from player to coach, she always will be a supporter, whether that’s players and coaches she knows or the sport itself.

“When you’re a fan of the sport, you always want to see it succeed,” said Reid.

She doesn’t have a particular player or team she is rooting for, but she wants to see the energy and camaraderie of the sport.

“Just seeing great plays being made and I think the passion and excitement of those players. You know that they love what they’re doing, and it’s a fun time [and] especially when you get something like that taken away from the Olympics and then brought back,” said Reid. “I feel like there’s this sense of leaving it all out there [on the field] because you’re not quite sure if it’s going to be around again.”

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About the Contributor
Destiny Walker
Destiny Walker, Online Editor
Destiny Walker (she/her) is the online editor for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in Journalism and minoring in Labor and Employment. She is from Sacramento, California, born and raised. This semester her beat will be about sports, but when she is not writing about sports she’s probably playing them. She grew up watching and playing sports so she loves to be active, whether that's a pickup basketball game or adventuring the great outdoors.

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