Softball Australia great Stacey Porter: “We’re ready to compete on the Olympic stage again”

Softball Australia great Stacey Porter: “We’re ready to compete on the Olympic stage again”
17/07/2021
Porter talked with host Tyler Maun for The Global Game, the WBSC podcast, about this historic moment for her, for Softball Australia and for the entire sport.

Stacey Porter is considered by everyone as one of the top hitters in the history of the game. Winner of a silver medal in Athens 2004 and a bronze medal in Beijing 2008, the veteran infielder looks to complete the collection with gold in Tokyo. Just hours before entering into the Olympic Village for the third time in her career on Thursday, Porter talked with host Tyler Maun for The Global Game, the WBSC podcast, about this historic moment for her, for Softball Australia and for the entire sport.

“I’m just trying to contain the excitement. We’ve been here in Japan for almost six weeks preparing... Since the pandemic hit, we had to wait another 12 months, and since we’ve been last in the Olympics have been 13 years... so if you think about all of that, with six days to go until we take the diamond, it’s a bit much to think. So I’m just trying to contain the excitement, letting it happen a little bit,” Porter recognises. 

The road to Tokyo has not been an easy one for any Olympic athlete. Softball Australia was not an exception. The team had to be very patient, she said. And even when softball players are very resilient athletes, she thinks the team has been quite adaptable. “Six days away, I think we’re so ready to compete on the Olympic stage again. I’m really excited to kick the Games off now,” Porter said.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are going to be very different for everyone, even for a two-time Olympian like Porter. “It’s going to be different for me as well. What I tried to pass on to the girls is to not get caught up in the moment. The Olympic Games can be a really big thing if you make it a really big thing. And you just have to remember that it’s the same ball, it’s the same bat... it doesn’t get any harder unless you make it harder.” 

Porter said she just try to keep it simple and not make the moment too big. Going into the Village on Saturday 17, and with the games starting on Wednesday, the team will have enough days to get the excitement out of the way. “I’ll allow for the girls to have some pride and feel the vibes from the Village,” she said. “And then just knock it down and just focusing on the job, playing the game of softball and hopefully getting the win at the end of the day.”

Asked about the Australian roster for Tokyo 2020 she thinks it’s a well balanced team. “We’ve gotten a well rounded team, a lot of these girls have been around for the last 13 years since the last Olympics, they’ve been within the program for a long time. So yeah, it might be their first Olympics, but they are well versed in playing the world game of softball.”

Australia has a pretty rich Olympic history, winning a medal in each of the four previous Olympic competitions. “But obviously the 14 of us that are heading into the Olympics new, they obviously want to create some of their new identity.” 

They will start to write a new story on Wednesday, when they face Japan at 9 am in Fukushima, in the first official competition of the Tokyo 2020 sports programme.

Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Softball Schedule