List of Olympic medalists in softball

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A light-skinned woman, wearing a red and blue shirt and red shorts, has her arms in the air to catch a ball in a grassy field as spectators look on.
Laura Berg, with three gold and one silver medals, is the most successful Olympic athlete in softball.

Softball is a sport that was formerly contested at the Summer Olympic Games. On December 8, 1989, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) declined to stage a softball tournament as a demonstration sport in the 1992 Summer Olympics.[1] At the 97th IOC session in 1991, the sport was granted official status as a medal sport for the 1996 Summer Olympics.[2] Softball was contested at each subsequent Games through 2008, after which the IOC removed it from the Olympic program.

Entering the first Olympic softball tournament in 1996, the United States were the favorites, having won every international competition in which they participated for the prior ten years.[3] The United States team lived up to expectations by winning the gold medal. The Americans lost one game in the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a combined 41 runs to 8.[4] The Chinese team won their only Olympic medal in softball, a silver, in 1996.[5] In the 2000 tournament, the United States won their second consecutive gold medal,[6] although they lost three games in the preliminary round at the Sydney Games.[7] At the 2004 Summer Olympics, the United States earned their third consecutive gold medal, winning all nine games and only allowing one run the entire tournament.[8]

In 2004, the IOC investigated the addition of sports to the Olympic schedule including golf, rugby sevens, squash, roller sports and karate.[9] The IOC voted on July 8, 2005, to remove softball and baseball from the 2012 Summer Olympics roster, the first sports removed from the Olympics since polo in 1936.[10] Appeals to reinstate both sports for 2012 were rejected.[11] Softball was still played at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, however, and the Japanese team claimed their first gold and third overall medal in Olympic softball.[12] The United States won silver, and the Australian team bronze, to become the only countries to win a medal in all four Olympic softball tournaments. The international governing bodies of softball, baseball, rugby sevens, golf, karate, roller sports, and squash petitioned the IOC in 2009 to fill two sport slots at the 2016 Olympics.[13] IOC President Jacques Rogge said they were "looking for an added value – wide appeal, especially for young people."[13] Ultimately the IOC voted to fill the two available slots for 2016 with rugby and golf.[14]

Only four nations won medals in softball at the Olympics; the United States, China, Australia, and Japan.[5] With three gold medals and one silver, the United States were the most successful team.[5] American center fielder Laura Berg was the only player to be a part of all four of those teams.[5][15] Three Australian players also won four medals: one silver and three bronze. Ten athletes won three medals, while thirty more won two medals.[5]

Medal winners

A standing blonde woman wearing sunglasses, a green and yellow track suit, and a bronze medal, while holding a plush kangaroo.
Australian player Natalie Ward won silver in 1996, 2000, and 2004 and bronze in 2008, one of four players to medal in every tournament.
A standing brunette woman, wearing a white sweatshirt, holding a microphone in her right hand and a gold medal in her left.
United States athlete Lisa Fernandez won gold medals in the first three Olympic softball tournaments.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
1996 Atlanta
details
 United States (USA)[16]
Laura Berg
Gillian Boxx
Sheila Cornell
Lisa Fernandez
Michele Granger
Lori Harrigan
Dionna Harris
Kim Maher
Leah O'Brien
Dot Richardson
Julie Smith
Michele Smith
Shelly Stokes
Danielle Tyler
Christa Lee Williams
 China (CHN)[17]
An Zhongxin
Chen Hong
He Liping
Lei Li
Liu Xuqing
Liu Yaju
Ma Ying
Ou Jingbai
Tao Hua
Wang Lihong
Wang Ying
Wei Qiang
Xu Jian
Yan Fang
Zhang Chunfang
 Australia (AUS)[18]
Joanne Brown
Kim Cooper
Carolyn Crudgington
Kerry Dienelt
Peta Edebone
Tanya Harding
Jennifer Holliday
Joyce Lester
Sally McDermid
Francine McRae
Haylea Petrie
Nicole Richardson
Melanie Roche
Natalie Ward
Brooke Wilkins
2000 Sydney
details
 United States (USA)[19]
Christie Ambrosi
Laura Berg
Jennifer Brundage
Crystl Bustos
Sheila Cornell
Lisa Fernandez
Lori Harrigan
Danielle Henderson
Jennifer McFalls
Stacey Nuveman
Leah O'Brien
Dot Richardson
Michele Smith
Michelle Venturella
Christa Lee Williams
 Japan (JPN)[20]
Misako Ando
Yumiko Fujii
Taeko Ishikawa
Kazue Ito
Yoshimi Kobayashi
Shiori Koseki
Mariko Masubuchi
Naomi Matsumoto
Emi Naito
Haruka Saito
Juri Takayama
Hiroko Tamoto
Reika Utsugi
Miyo Yamada
Noriko Yamaji
 Australia (AUS)[21]
Sandra Allen
Joanne Brown
Kerry Dienelt
Peta Edebone
Sue Fairhurst
Selina Follas
Fiona Hanes
Kelly Hardie
Tanya Harding
Sally McDermid
Simmone Morrow
Melanie Roche
Natalie Titcume
Natalie Ward
Brooke Wilkins
2004 Athens
details
 United States (USA)[22]
Leah Amico
Laura Berg
Crystl Bustos
Lisa Fernandez
Jennie Finch
Tairia Flowers
Amanda Freed
Lori Harrigan
Lovieanne Jung
Kelly Kretschman
Jessica Mendoza
Stacey Nuveman
Cat Osterman
Jenny Topping
Natasha Watley
 Australia (AUS)[23]
Sandra Allen
Marissa Carpadios
Fiona Crawford
Amanda Doman
Peta Edebone
Tanya Harding
Natalie Hodgskin
Simmone Morrow
Tracey Mosley
Stacey Porter
Melanie Roche
Natalie Titcume
Natalie Ward
Brooke Wilkins
Kerry Wyborn
 Japan (JPN)[24]
Emi Inui
Kazue Ito
Yumi Iwabuchi
Masumi Mishina
Emi Naito
Haruka Saito
Hiroko Sakai
Naoko Sakamoto
Rie Sato
Yuki Sato
Juri Takayama
Yukiko Ueno
Reika Utsugi
Eri Yamada
Noriko Yamaji
2008 Beijing
details
 Japan (JPN)[25]
Naho Emoto
Motoko Fujimoto
Megu Hirose
Emi Inui
Sachiko Ito
Ayumi Karino
Satoko Mabuchi
Yukiyo Mine
Masumi Mishina
Rei Nishiyama
Hiroko Sakai
Rie Sato
Mika Someya
Yukiko Ueno
Eri Yamada
 United States (USA)[26]
Monica Abbott
Laura Berg
Crystl Bustos
Andrea Duran
Jennie Finch
Tairia Flowers
Victoria Galindo
Lovieanne Jung
Kelly Kretschman
Lauren Lappin
Caitlin Lowe
Jessica Mendoza
Stacey Nuveman
Cat Osterman
Natasha Watley
 Australia (AUS)[27]
Jodie Bowering
Kylie Cronk
Kelly Hardie
Tanya Harding
Sandy Lewis
Simmone Morrow
Tracey Mosley
Stacey Porter
Melanie Roche
Justine Smethurst
Danielle Stewart
Natalie Titcume
Natalie Ward
Belinda Wright
Kerry Wyborn
2012-2016 not included in the Olympic program

Athlete medal leaders

Athletes who won at least two gold medals or three total medals are listed below.[5]

Athlete Nation Olympics Total Gold Silver Bronze
Berg, LauraLaura Berg  United States (USA) 1996–2008 4 3 1 0
Roche, MelanieMelanie Roche  Australia (AUS) 1996–2008 4 0 1 3
Ward, NatalieNatalie Ward  Australia (AUS) 1996–2008 4 0 1 3
Harding, TanyaTanya Harding  Australia (AUS) 1996–2008 4 0 1 3
O'Brien, LeahLeah O'Brien  United States (USA) 1996–2004 3 3 0 0
Fernandez, LisaLisa Fernandez  United States (USA) 1996–2004 3 3 0 0
Harrigan, LoriLori Harrigan  United States (USA) 1996–2004 3 3 0 0
Bustos, CrystlCrystl Bustos  United States (USA) 2000–2008 3 2 1 0
Nuveman, StaceyStacey Nuveman  United States (USA) 2000–2008 3 2 1 0
Allen, SandraSandra Allen  Australia (AUS) 2000–2008 3 0 1 2
Wilkins, BrookeBrooke Wilkins  Australia (AUS) 1996–2004 3 0 1 2
Titcume, NatalieNatalie Titcume  Australia (AUS) 2000–2008 3 0 1 2
Morrow, SimmoneSimmone Morrow  Australia (AUS) 2000–2008 3 0 1 2
Edebone, PetaPeta Edebone  Australia (AUS) 1996–2004 3 0 1 2
Williams, Christa LeeChrista Lee Williams  United States (USA) 1996–2000 2 2 0 0
Cornell, SheilaSheila Cornell  United States (USA) 1996–2000 2 2 0 0
Smith, MicheleMichele Smith  United States (USA) 1996–2000 2 2 0 0
Richardson, DotDot Richardson  United States (USA) 1996–2000 2 2 0 0

See also

References

General
  • "Results database". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
Specific
  1. ^ UPI (December 9, 1989). "Golf, softball rejected for Barcelona Olympics". Lodi News-Sentinel. Lodi, CA. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "International Softball Federation Timeline". International Softball Federation. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  3. ^ Capellman, Chad (March 15, 1996). "Richardson Travels Hard Road to Softball". The Washington Post. Washington, DC: Washington Post Company. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  4. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Softball at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games: Women's Softball Summary". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Kubatko, Justin. "Softball". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  6. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Softball at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games: Women's Softball Summary". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Softball at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games:Women's Softball Round-Robin". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  8. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Softball at the 2004 Athina Summer Games: Women's Softball Summary". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  9. ^ Starmer-Smith, Charles (September 26, 2004). "Rugby makes Olympic list". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  10. ^ "They'rrre out! Olympics drop baseball, softball". NBC Sports. Associated Press. July 9, 2005. Retrieved April 25, 2010. Rogge has basically conspired against the sports to get them removed 
  11. ^ "Olympic sports fail in appeal bid". BBC.co.uk. BBC. February 9, 2006. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Softball at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games: Women's Softball Summary". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Seven sports aim for Olympic spot". BBC.co.uk. BBC. June 15, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Golf & rugby voted into Olympics". BBC.co.uk. BBC. October 9, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  15. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Laura Berg Biography and Olympic Results". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved April 8, 2010. 
  16. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "United States Softball at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  17. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "China Softball at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Australia Softball at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  19. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "United States Softball at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  20. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Japan Softball at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  21. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Australia Softball at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  22. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "United States Softball at the 2004 Athina Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  23. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Australia Softball at the 2004 Athina Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  24. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Japan Softball at the 2004 Athina Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  25. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Japan Softball at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  26. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "United States Softball at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
  27. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "Australia Softball at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 26, 2010. 
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