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Softball: Gold for Japan, Silver for U.S.

Note: Dave Sheinin's full game report is now available.

A stunner in softball: The U.S. team, which has dominated the sport since its introduction to the Olympic in 1996, has lost the gold medal game to Japan, 3-1. With the IOC having voted to eliminate softball from the Olympic docket in 2012, it will be at least eight years --and maybe never -- until the U.S. can attempt to avenge the loss.

Japan scored their insurance run with some assistance from the suddenly tight and indecisive U.S. defense. Megu Hirose led off the seventh with a sharp single to left and went to second when Masumi Mishina dropped a sacrifice bunt. Rather than taking the easier out at first, U.S. first baseman Tairia Flowers decided to throw to second to get the lead runner, but shortstop Natasha Watley dropped the throw (which may have been late anyway), and both runners were safe.

Two batters later, with runners on second and third, Motoko Fujimoto hit a comebacker to U.S. pitcher Monica Abbott, who tried to get the runner heading home. Her throw to catcher Stacey Nuveman was late, and Japan had pushed their lead to 3-1.

Box Score

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 21, 2008; 8:50 AM ET
Categories:  Softball  
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Comments

Great work, Japan! Very strong play. I wish the US had won, but you ladies deserved it. Well done, and congratulations!

Posted by: Andrew | August 21, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I think this is a good thing! I'm sure Americans are sad today the US team lost, but this loss is good for the sport as an Olympic event in the long term. If other teams see that it won't be just one country dominating the sport from its inception then they may be interested in participating and improving their teams. And that would mean the US would have more shots to win gold in the future.

Posted by: GoTerpsGo | August 21, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I wish the US had won the gold, but heartily congratulate the Japanese women on their victory. The Japanese victory illustrates that the US women's domination of the sport has limits. Because of the IOC's parochialism and short-sightedness, there is no possibility of a thrilling US-Japan rematch at the London Oympics in 2012.

Posted by: Michael | August 21, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Why eliminate softball? Was it because the US was so dominating in the sport?

Posted by: Mike | August 21, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

funny that a sport the US dominates was eliminated for the olympics! maybe now that we did not get the gold it will be back.
but we still have sync swimming as an olympic sport. oh great.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Kind of ironic, since the US dominance was often cited as a reason for softball's being dropped from the Olympics...

Posted by: aces | August 21, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

YEAH! First loser!!!

Posted by: Krazijoe | August 21, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I thought the US beat Japan the other day in the semi's? How did Japan get to the gold medal game?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

This sport should'nt even be in the Olympics and neither should basketball.

Posted by: larry | August 21, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

This is a perfect example of why the games are played rather than relying on opinion of the experts. The main reason for taking softball from the Olympics was the supposed total domination of the American team.

Posted by: Tom | August 21, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The reason that softball and baseball were eliminated as an Olympic sport is because of the number of European countries that are part of the Olympic federation. They don't play baseball and softball in Europe and they hate us anyway so that is two strikes against the United States.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The main reason is not US dominance- it is the lack of popularity for softball world-wide. Whether we like it or not there is a bigger world outside the US and a lot more people there who don't play softball (or even baseball for that matter).

Of course by that token events like Dressage, equestrian, wind-surfing, sailing all deserve to be pulled and I heartily endorse that.

Posted by: sumithar | August 21, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The game of softball does not fit with what the Olympics were originally intended to achieve. Softball is not played everywhere and takes far less athleticism than track and field or swimming. It's also a team sport, which is not true to the spirit of the games. I'm an American and root for our country, but this should go the way of all the sports that include artistic merit scores or team efforts.

Posted by: larry | August 21, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Fans of Baseball and softball should boycott the Olymics and all their advertisers!

Posted by: Tom Moran | August 21, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

GoTerpsGo should read the articles. There won't be anymore gold medals for the US in softball. It is going bye-bye.

Overconfidence and sloppy play on the part of the Americans, similar to basketball in Athens, and dogged determination and consistent play by the Japanese was the difference. Congratulations to the Japanese women.

Posted by: Michael1945 | August 21, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha. You lost. Nyaa nyaa na boo boo. You lost the game.

Posted by: Karl | August 21, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

they should get rid of the 100 and 200 meter races in 2012 because the jamaicans are too dominant.

Posted by: bolty | August 21, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

To eliminate the sport because any one team dominated is wrong. While watching the Olympics, there were numerous bios of athletes that attended college here and trained here and are from other countries . Do as the other sports do. Send some girls to college here, train them in softball and then they go home and share what they learned.

Posted by: Linda | August 21, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

A great apology is owed to the American people......

Posted by: Anon | August 21, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

If it's true that softball's being eliminated because of USA's dominance, then maybe they should eliminate diving since China's been pretty dominant there. I've gotten to the point where whenever I see NBC showing diving, I change the channel, since I know China's gonna win gold. There's no surprise. And for that matter, the IOC should eliminate any sport that's been dominated by any country--I'm sure there must be some...archery? ping pong? something else?
What a crappy reason (if it's true) to eliminate a sport from the Olympics.

Posted by: Lin | August 21, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

It is very sad to see such an offensive remark, calling "Damn Japs. Shouldda nuked them all in '45." Hope you don't play any sports with such an attitude! Shame on you.

Posted by: B Casado | August 21, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, let's get rid of the fun team sports but keep Rythmic Gymnastics (girls tossing balloons in the air??), Trampoline, Ping Pong, Badminton (great American picnic sport), and BMX. The Olympics stink anymore. I haven't seen one javelin, one tennis match, one baseball game. Boooo. And an equal boooo to the WaPo for continuing there desire to post the results on the main page so to ruin it for those who want to catch the action on t.v. tonight. No point to watch it now.

Posted by: Twisted | August 21, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

How can they eliminate softball and have that ridiculous, no skills necessary cross between basketball and hockey?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

To larry...
"Softball is not played everywhere and takes far less athleticism than track and field or swimming."

Takes far less athleticism than track or swimming? Huh??? Have you played fastpitch?

First, there is the pitcher, who must maintain contact with the rubber until the ball is released then throw a ball that IS going to curve because a straight pitch would be crushed.

The catcher has to know where this pitch is going to be.

But now we head to the batter who must, in a split second (about that of which Michael Phelps won his 7th gold medal), decide whether or not to swing and where to swing. Then there is getting the bat on the ball. After one hits the ball, one must then run. Fielder's have to field the ball and throw, sometimes running to make the play and throwing off balance.

Last I checked, discus and shot put, you spin and throw in one motion. Running, well, you run and we see that you run in softball too but the corners are much tighter. Javelin and pole vault are run and throw but in a straight line. High jump, well it says it in the name.

You need to be more skilled to be a softball player than say a diver. Swimmers need to learn numerous strokes to be effective the way Phelps was but in the end, it's up the pool and back. Walking, I can't believe this is actually a sport. Equestrian events, the horse is the athlete, not the person on the horse's back. Ballroom dancing, is that still on the books as an olympic sport?

What about Ping Pong, the Chinese dominated that for how long? What about ice hockey on the winter side until the Soviet Union fell. Won 'em all except '60 and '80.

The IOC cannot logically come up with an excuse so they've thrown all these things out there, like Larry has. It's not that tough to hit a softball!!! Larry, I challenge you right now to come out to a Washington Glory game next season and I'll arrange to have you look bad against one of the pitchers.

Posted by: Jarrod | August 21, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

That no skill game I mentioned is team handball. How easy would basketball be if you didn't have to dribble? About as easy as team handball.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

If dominance is the issue then there are a lot more events that should be eliminated, including men's basketball. But regardless of world dominance, what's worse is that the men's basketball team is made up of professional players. That is just plan wrong no matter what spin you put on it in an attempt to condone it. The Olympics are supposed to be about the kids who train their entire lives for one moment in time, not about men who already get paid millions to play on a professional level. If anything should be banned, it should be basketball! Either that or change the rules so professionals aren't allowed to participate.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

it was poor coaching in this game.the team was arrogrant in thinking they were invincible.i'm waiting on australia to defeat the usa women basketball team who also thinks they are invincible and displays arrogrance.

Posted by: ron | August 21, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

...note to the "Redeem Team" watch your six... this could happen to YOU!

Posted by: Smooth | August 21, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Deserved win to a very tough Japanese team. I thought they might be jaded after taking 12 innings to beat the Australians in the semis!!

Posted by: Robert Spratt | August 21, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Best wishes Japan on your win,excuse the few who offer less. USA players,hold your heads high.

Posted by: Larry K | August 21, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Yuri, with a Japanese name I really question writing your comment. I am not Japanese (I'm American) but have lived in Japan for decades and I say Congratulations to the Japanese team. The Americans were just a little too cocky this time.

Posted by: TD | August 21, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Softball is not played much outside of the US, so it makes sense to cut it. I put softball up there with lacrosse and field hockey in terms of excitement. They all stink. I read a comment mentioning that softball is very athletic. Are you kidding? Baseball is barely athletic and softball is even less. Softball players are not elite athletes! Why would softball be the sport of choice for over the hill old men and chunky women?

I think the only reason anyone is talking about softball these days is Jennie Finch. She made the sport a little more popular in the US, but just barely.

Posted by: miknugget | August 21, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Softball is going away because something like 8 countries play it. And with it being a team sport it takes a long time to really develop.

Softball's best chance at getting back into the Olympics is to forget about the Olympics and try to grow the sport through some sort of World Cup.

Posted by: Obvious | August 21, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

i support team of USA

Posted by: yang | August 21, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why the IOC decided to drop softball from the 2012 games? I am curious as to its stated rationale(s). A real shame -- this is a great sport.

Posted by: Guy B. Jones | August 21, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Yuri, your comment is completely out of line and shows extremely poor character and only degrades our image further in the int'l community. Poor sportsmanship should never be allowed and we should sincerely congratulate the Japanese women for their hard work. US players, keep your chin up and your eyes on the prize for the next round!

Posted by: JJK | August 21, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

A great effort by Japan. Team USA had their chances but so it goes--as others said that's why you play the game. My 12 year old softball player got up at 6:30 AM and watched. Now I get to try and explain to her why the wonderfully competitive--and very athletic-- sport she plays has been eliminated from the Olympics.

Posted by: Changeup | August 21, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Many of those women playing softball look "soft"...a little too soft to be athletes in my opinion. Hitting a ball is just hand eye coordination. Let's make Xbox and Wii Olympic sports too then!

Posted by: larry | August 21, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

leave yuri alone you wimps,he was kidding!!!

Posted by: jim | August 21, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least it wasn't to a bunch of Chinese embryo's.

Posted by: Bill Monroe | August 21, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

please take the offensive comment off said by Yuri.

Posted by: JAH | August 21, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yuri Lipitzmeov, you are a sick animal. You should not watch any of the olympic's game.

Posted by: Henry | August 21, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Yuri, I won't question your intentions, but I will say this: for future reference, the term "Jap" is to many Japanese Americans a hurtful term with a history going back at least to World War 2 and internment camps.

Posted by: VS | August 21, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Why do we have to say the Americans were cocky just because they lost? That's unfair and offensive. Much more offensive and unfunny is Yuri's comment. The appropriate response is congratulations to the Japanese team on games well played.

Posted by: Andrew Myers | August 21, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Bill Monroe, Chinese win more and more gold. Do you have a problem with that? I think you are a sperm.

Posted by: Henry | August 21, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm Japanese, and very happy for our win today.

But I always respect, and am fond American people for respecting the other team, and be able to congratulate the winner as many of you have here.
I think that is something we all can learn from in sports.

We have our good softball team here in Japan today because of US.

I hope the good rivalry between US and Japan have more to offer in the future!

Posted by: MIY | August 21, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

An absolute disgrace. USA beats Japan yesterday, then loses to Japan today, therefore Japan gets the gold? Everyone who knows baseball and softball knows that that's no way to determine a champion. And yes, I'd be complaining if it were the other way around and the US got the gold after going 1-1 against Japan.

Posted by: tom veil | August 21, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Those who comment that softball is "easy" must only watch company/church/beer league slow-pitch. Fastpitch is quite literally a whole other ballgame.

Posted by: softballmom | August 21, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Japanese team. It was a very well played game and it was nice to see good competition.

But I never have agreed with the "let's get rid of a sport because the US is dominant" argument. Why not get rid of diving since the Chinese seem to be dominant in that arena?

I think it is a major compliment to US sports that we do well time and time again in team events. From beach volleyball to softball and basketball, the US produces good TEAMS.

I think it almost validates the democratic system. I know, I know, but follow me on this.

Other, unnamed, countries hand pick athletes from a young age and develop them singularly for a certain sport, while the US allows it's athletes to develop in a plethora of sports without government intervention. As niches are found and talents are developed, athletes gravitate to their best sport and like-talented athletes form teams which can compete on an international level.

And the best part, these athletes are, in most cases, well-rounded and educated members of US society. Unlike other countries whose olympians return to their countries unable to do much other than run, jump, dive, etc...

Posted by: sopplayer | August 21, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Softball has no business in the Olympics. It's a joke.

The poster who said Softball requires more athleticism than track, swimming or diving should be drug tested.

I'm sorry that the US lost, and sorry for softball players that the sport won't be in the olympics anymore. But I definitely agree that it has no place in the games.

Baseball doesn't belong either…

Posted by: Mike | August 21, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what the criteria is for having a sport added or dropped from the olympics. Certainly the dominance of a single country should not be a significant factor. My next thought was perhaps only sports that are "active" and "competitive" in a large percentage of nations. This would prevent some sports from ever being added (think the horible bowling experiment). It would also eliminate several niche sports like softball (which is played by few), synchronized diving (takes skill, but is a totally made up sport), and trampoline. The problem I quickly ran into is that it would pretty quickly eliminate most of the Winter Olympics...

Finally, I suggest eliminate all sports for which an Olympic Gold Medal is not the biggest acheivement in the sport. I love Soccer but the World Cup is the real prize as shown by the fact that the Olympics is really a U-23 tournament and not a battle of National teams. Tennis would also be out - who would trade Wimbledon for an Olympic Medal? Baseball? Maybe in, maybe out. The World Series is really just a US Team Championship.

Posted by: JM | August 21, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It's softball, who cares..geez! If these women want to play a sport that is considered difficult, then they should play truly fast pitch baseball and try out for the majors!

Posted by: larry | August 21, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

RIght. The elimination of softball is clearly a conspiracy against the poor, oppressed Americans, who struggle with their limited resources to compete in international sports.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

This is actually great news. They were eliminating softball because the US was TOO good and no one ever had chance against the US teams. This is the best argument against that reason. It's the best argument for having it reinstated for 2016.

Posted by: Maggiee | August 21, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

*****************************************************************
*****************************************************************
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I'm actually glad Japan won. The Olympic Committee voted to kill softball because the US seemed invincible. Now, perhaps the proponents of Olympic softball can make a better case for keeping it.


*****************************************************************
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Posted by: Frank | August 21, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

this article was introduced on the biggest BBS in japan called 2ch, so i'm writing this from japan. i'm japanese and i think that maybe no japanese people are thinking that we are really stronger than u.s. we know how powerful the u.s. team really are. maybe the pressure for them to get the gold medal was so strong, so they were timid this time, i think. We are happy that our team could beat the strongest team in the world.

Posted by: Orz | August 21, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

2016!!

http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20080821/capt.6dbce928d3984d3f9f1ab1cb19ebfc46.beijing_olympics_softballl_oly955.jpg

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Larry,

I'm sure the Lady Terps would allow you to attempt to hit off one of their pitchers.

Posted by: softballmom | August 21, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

It reminds me of the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. in hockey. 'Do you believe in miracles?....Yes!' Congrats to Japan.

Posted by: dc man | August 21, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

For most of my life, I've been a follower and fan of American baseball. For some reaon this year, I have been uninterested in it and have not seen a single game. Our game has certainly gained popularity and acheived success in other countries but when I see it in the Olympics, I'm partly embarrassed at the almost palpable arrogance it connotes. Of course we want "our games" (baseball, basketball) as Olympic events, it gives us a chance to kick everyone's ---.
When the Olympics come around every four years, give us swimming, track cycling, weight lifting, 100m dash, etc. Not American baseball.

Posted by: spellbound | August 21, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

girlpower!

Posted by: larry | August 21, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The decision to drop baseball and softball from the 2012 games was based on the fact that hardly any country outside the US takes part in these sports. It is like having hurling or pelota in the games. Of course the US will be dominant in these sports! That does not mean a worldwide sport should be dropped because, once every 4 years, one country is dominant. By the way you should know that calling your domestic baseball finals the "World Series" is considered very funny to the rest of the world

Posted by: shefflin | August 21, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Ok . Now we are even for the A-bombs . I don't want to hear any more whining .

Posted by: nat turner | August 21, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Way to choke ladies! What a disgrace. Pathetic!

Posted by: donmac | August 21, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The IOC cannot logically come up with an excuse so they've thrown all these things out there, like Larry has. It's not that tough to hit a softball!!! Larry, I challenge you right now to come out to a Washington Glory game next season and I'll arrange to have you look bad against one of the pitchers.

Posted by: Jarrod | August 21, 2008 9:54 AM


Jarrod, you said it and way to represent the Glory. We know the truth.

Team USA, keep your heads up and thank you for a great ride.

Posted by: Stewart | August 21, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

This time we won, but the U.S.team also did a great job!
There were two gold-medal teams on the field.

Posted by: from Japan | August 21, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Jarrod....let's have one of the Glory bat against John Smoltz as I am not a "professional" athlete. Let's see how they do.

Posted by: larry | August 21, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

To qualify as an Olympic sport, an activity must be "widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries and on three continents," according to Olympics officials.

In other words, basketball stays. Baseball and softball, buh-bye (though they will surely return as exhibition sports). American football, not in 1000 years. Rugby has a much better shot.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

sports like softball and baseball have no business in international competition. It is sport domintated by the USA and we're only crying because we're from the USA and we're always number 1. Track and Field which probably the most purest of sports ever is only apprecitated in the college and highschool level in this country. i gues the rest of the world is stupid and we're the know it all americans. Paleeze, i suggest they try kick ball. and that goes any other "sport" that requires judges.

Posted by: boriqua bopper | August 21, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm writing from Japan. You should also be able to play baseball in this way with the United States much now. Even if the world is wrapped anxiously sometime. Because I excelled, it isn't the reason which is being talked about. I'm happy because I can play such game with the United States respected as a country of baseball. I'm not good at English, so if sentences are strange, I'm sorry. I'd like to compete with the United States for a medal by Olympics.

Posted by: wako | August 21, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

the real reason that baseball and softball are going to be eliminated is the cost.
next olimpic will be held in london.
they don't have great stadiums like us has and they can't afford to build new one.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I heard the Japanese team were underage.

IOC should investigate!

Posted by: JohnDoe | August 21, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm japanese baseball fun.
I think today's game,
there is no diffarence
between the team Japan and U.S
I want to wrapp (in japanese [HAKUSHU])
to all Amercan ladies of Softball team.

Posted by: Tadasi | August 21, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

To all the Japanese commenters: Thank you for being gracious in your team's victory. Softball players from both countries set a good example for girls like my daughter.

Posted by: softballmom | August 21, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

from Tokyo
please tell your daughter,
today's game ,
there's no winner.
there's no differense GOLD and SILVER.
thanks nice game for American ladies!!

Posted by: Tadasi | August 21, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to the Japanese women's team. It was a very good competition as sopplayer noted.

Almost all Japanese news media reported the achievement as "higan no kin" or desperately longed gold [medal]. If there weren't a competition, it wasn't a news.

As with the US team, teams from free and democratic countries are made up with group of athletes who grew up to love the sport and to play well in their home countries.

The US has a larger pool of competitive athletes not only in youth level but also in higher education level. I think that is certainly a reason for its strength.

Strong US teams are not threat to the sports in Olympic Games. They are aspiration for athletes in other countries.

Posted by: Yoshi | August 21, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

In your FACE! This is payback and downright karma for what you did to Churandy Martina. A country of 300 million people, 90 odd medals, is nitpicking to bully a tiny country of 225.000 people out of their first ever silver medal?

Sore loser much?

Every medals table leads with most golds won, except the American ones. Hip Hip Hurray for America, the Bronze medal champion.

Hans de Bruin
Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Posted by: Hans de Bruin, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. | August 21, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Dear USA, you Bronze Medal champs,

Please go on believing that the whole world is against you for no good reason. A nation of 300 million paranoids is perfect entertainment.

You got beaten at your own game. Neh nuh neh neh!

USA! USA! USA! USA!
Je naait 't steeds! Je naait 't steeds! Je naait 't steeds!

:sticksouttongue:

Posted by: Hans de Bruin | August 21, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I think it's a shame that Softball is being taken out of the Olympic roster. I think they didn't give it a chance.

But my real comments are RE: Equestrian Sports and the Olympics. The original Olympic sports were selected because they related to warfare and combat. The point was for countries to challenge each other and improve at these skills without having to go to war to do it! This is why Equestrian sports are included. Of course, we live in a different world now-a-days, the general priorities as well as the focus of the Olympics has changed, and equestrian skills are no longer a requirement of the general population. However, I challenge anyone who says riding a 1400 lbs horse over a dozen 5'6" fences is not a sport to give it a try sometime. We'll discuss it from your hospital bed while you're in traction. I'll bring flowers. My point is, it's HARD! It's taxing, you have to have skills, talent, luck, hours of practice and preparation, and lots and lots of $$$. Sound like any other Olympic sports we know?

PS: A few additional plusses: Equestrian sports are more prevalent world-wide than most people think. There are many disciplines and levels, people can participate for decades, and its the only Olympic sport in which men and women (as well as mares and stallions/geldings) compete on equal terms. It's also one of the oldest disciplines in history.

Done with my sales pitch now!

Posted by: KWM85 | August 21, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I think many people here got is wrong. IOC eliminated softball NOT just because of
1) USA is so dominate
2) lack of interest outside USA
There is another important reason: the cost of building and maintaining a softball stadium, which will be useless after the Olympics. Sports like synchronized swimming, although also unpopular, don't cost very much.

Posted by: Yang | August 21, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I heard the Japanese team were underage.
IOC should investigate!
Posted by: JohnDoe | August 21, 2008 12:26 PM
-------------------------------------------
If they were underage, the US loss is truly pathetic. I read above that baseball is in the Olympics. I had no idea!

Softball and baseball suck, softball just a little more. Baseball isn’t even our pastime anymore. Football is our pastime, or so it seems for the 28 years I’ve been alive.

Posted by: miknugget | August 21, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, to save softball as an Olympic sport: How about using the same unnies that the beach volleyball team uses?

Posted by: Just-Thinking_Out_Loud | August 21, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

A Korean pretends to be a Japanese. I pretend to be a Japanese and say a terrible thing. Please warn American all of you! ! I warn a Korean! !

Posted by: Japanese | August 21, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

We think USA is the best team. Maybe only Ueno deserves gold medal among Japanese members.(Especially, tactics of Japanese manager Saito had been very poor!) If Japan and USA play 10 games, Japan can win only once.
But... Yesterday was the day Japan could win! It was Very Very imprssive game! and sorry for USA fans...

In Japan, Mega BBS 2-channel, Ms Bustos becomes very popular. She worn the King or Last-Boss-like presence, that impressed us. Many eulogy and praise comments are written. We hope to see Bustos in 2016.

Posted by: Takahiro | August 21, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

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     Y: |     ノ >=彡'        }ノ
     ノ:::|     { /      `ヽ、    ノ
     {::::ハ   彡/         `ー‐-r'

See you at 2016 Olympic game!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 21, 2008 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations of the United States women's football team on the gold
medal.
Though it is terrible worldwide.
why is it only a topic of softball here?
Football is worldwide sports though softball and baseball are played
only in countries of a minimum number.
I think that everyone in the world is interested in the gold medal of
the United States women's football team.

Posted by: I love BUSTUS | August 21, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

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