WBSC Softball Hall of Famer Ivelisse Echevarría elected to Puerto Rican Olympic Committee

WBSC Softball Hall of Famer Ivelisse Echevarría elected to Puerto Rican Olympic Committee
The former softball pitcher was the first and only woman so far to bear Puerto Rico’s flag during an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony (Atlanta 1996).

Legendary Puerto Rican softball pitcher Ivelisse Echevarria became a member at-large of the Puerto Rican Olympic Committee (COPUR). The election was held on Saturday, 10 October, at the COPUR Olympic House. Echevarria will serve as COPUR member at-large for the 2021-2024 Olympic cycle.

The 64-year-old former standout pitcher was one of seven new COPUR members elected by the national federation delegates.

"Congratulations Ivelisse for another big milestone in your career," said WBSC Softball Chairman Tommy Velazquez, also Puerto Rican. "All your achievements are yet another testimony of how softball can help to empower women in sport and promote gender equality."

“I can tell you that I had a very happy day...That reunion with sports friends made me very happy, especially that all the federative delegates as they saw me, they greeted me and gave me their support, so I thanked them very much. It is a new opportunity that the Lord offers me to continue contributing to Puerto Rico through sports,” Echevarría told local newspaper EL VOCERO.

At the Atlanta 1996 Games, Echevarria became the first female athlete to be the Puerto Rico's flag bearer in an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. She was the winning pitcher in Puerto Rico's lone victory in Olympic softball history, throwing a 2-0 complete-game shutout against a strong Australian team that finished the 1996 Games with the bronze medal. Echevarria appeared in five matches at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and finished the event with a 1-3 record and 3.77 ERA. She retired after the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

Over her career, she won over 40 games in international competition, including a perfect game at the Indianapolis 1987 Pan American Games. Other highlights include four appearances in the Central American and Caribbean Games and four appearances in the Central American Caribbean Championships. She was inducted into the WBSC Softball Hall of Fame in 2003.