It was an upset of huge proportions: Japan’s victory over U.S.A. in the softball gold medal game. Few expected the U.S. to lose, and why should they? The team has claimed Olympic gold since 1996, remained unbeaten since 2000 and looked just as dominant as ever in the sport’s Olympic swan song. But that didn’t matter to the Japanese, who won the game, 3-1. Goliath has fallen. Softball has a new champion.
Japan’s victory, however, has more implications than just the painful blow it issued to the U.S. women’s team. Gregory Lee, Jr. of The Boston Globe writes in this article that maybe the Olympic committee should reevaluate their decision to cut softball from the games’ program. Indeed, there have been a few who suggested that America was too dominate, too talented to come away with anything less than first place. That’s no longer the case anymore and Japan’s victory could spur an interesting debate if people are ready to listen. It’s too late for the sport to return to the 2012 games in London, but there is already a movement afloat to revive softball as an Olympic sport in 2016. The movement’s name? Back Softball.