Lisa Fernandez, a three-time Olympic champion and perhaps softball's signature star for more than a decade, did not make the U.S. team's final 15-player roster...
Lisa Fernandez, a three-time Olympic champion and perhaps softball’s signature star for more than a decade, did not make the U.S. team’s final 15-player roster for this year’s Beijing Games.
“It’s like Michael Jordan getting cut from the basketball team,” U.S. catcher Stacey Nuveman said.
The 37-year-old Fernandez was named a replacement player Friday for the American team, which will attempt to win its fourth consecutive gold medal this summer.
The ex-pitching ace was making a comeback after missing three years of international competition to start a family. “I know I gave it everything I had,” Fernandez said.
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U.S. coach Mike Candrea said, “I was really hoping she would get close to where she was in 2004. She is still, in my eyes, the best player who has ever played this game.”
Candrea kept three pitchers: Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman and first-time Olympian Monica Abbott.
Catcher Jenny Topping, a former Washington Huskies player who was a member of the 2004 Olympic team, also was left off the final roster and named a replacement player. Lauren Lappin beat out Topping.
• Colorado Springs has proposed a $53 million deal aimed at keeping the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters in Colorado.
The proposal would give the USOC a new headquarters building, renovations to an existing building and 158 new housing units for athletes at the Olympic Training Center. The Colorado Springs City Council scheduled a meeting for Monday to formalize the agreement.
• Speedo’s new LZR Racer suit has taken the swimming world by storm and has perhaps been a factor in 16 world records since it was unveiled less than two months ago. But it is not nearly so sleek when filled with water.
Speedo officials planned to meet with Australian world-record holder Jessicah Schipper after she revealed water got inside her suit during that country’s Olympic trials.
“We are conducting a thorough investigation but are confident this is not endemic to the LZR Racer suit,” said Speedo Australia executive Rob Davies.