Today's blog is a guest post from high school student Lydia Dunbar. Find out what we are really talking about below the C and R’s StanfordWBBBlog Twitter Account.
April 16- Pitching Our Way Back into the Olympics
Today's blog is a guest post from high school student Lydia Dunbar. She had a high school assignment to write about something important to her. She chose softball, specifically why it should be brought back to the Olympics. And unlike C and R, she even provides the links at the end where she got stuff. And unlike C and R again, she actually edited it carefully and there are NO typos! Such a change of pace! And really unlike C and R, she listens to All Things Considered on low volume instead of watching reality TV. Okay, here's more from Lydia.
"The reason I wrote an article about softball in the Olympics and why it should be reinstated is because softball is a topic that is very important to me. I have been playing since I was six years old (I am seventeen now) and I remember how exciting it was to watch the USA Olympic team execute perfect plays in the infield and make spectacular throws from the outfield. I just think that Olympic softball players provide an inspiration for younger girls to become better softball players. Jennie Finch, the starting Olympic pitcher, is a phenomenal player and I remember when I was growing up I really wanted to pitch like her. I don't pitch anymore, but I still love watching how fast she throws the ball."
After removing all her nice MLA formatting, here is her article in its entirety:
Pitching Our Way Back into the Olympics
Jennie Finch and Cat Osterman are two of the best pitchers on the United States Olympic softball team. Of course that was not always the case. Like many other celebrities, they grew into fame by becoming increasingly better athletes. These two women inspire many people by their admirable dedication to the sport of softball and how they represented their country when softball was an Olympic sport. For that reason, softball should be reinstated back into the Olympics because it provides opportunities for females, life lessons, and an occasion for equality in the Olympics.
Softball, which was an Olympic sport from 1996 to 2008, was full of the best athletes during its time in the Olympics. The US team for example, won the Gold Medal every year except when Japan won Gold in the 2008 Olympics. The dedication these women put into the sport is admired by many young girls who dream of playing the sport as well. It gives girls and women opportunities to participate in a sport they love and want to compete professionally. In some countries such as Afghanistan where female inclusion is less common, softball “has been instrumental in allowing women and girls to play a sport in some of the most restricted countries” (Zinser). Without softball in the Olympics, there is less inspiration spreading to younger generations of girls who dream of playing professionally. Softball in the Olympics has been proven to be motivation for thousands of girls to participate in the sport, therefore it should be returned to the Olympics.
Like any other sport, softball requires good sportsmanship, teamwork, and dedication. The US Olympic softball team is full of athletes who exemplify these qualities. The coach of the US Olympic softball team drilled into the athletes’ heads that they were going to dominate. “That’s all we were going to do is dominate. And that’s what we did” Crystal Bustos says in an interview on All Things Considered. The fact that the US team had the determination to win the Gold every year from 1996 to 2008 is admirable, and lots of girls and women look up to the “dream team” of the Olympic Sport. Softball is an inspirational sport for many athletes determined to play for their country.
Softball and baseball are two very similar sports with just a few differences. Both were in the Olympics at some point in time, which offered an opportunity for minor league athletes of both genders to play in a world event. If for instance the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to put only one of the two sports back into the games, that would draw back from gender equality, which is one of the focuses of the IOC, according to Kelly Whiteside in her article Why 3 Key Sports Will (or Won’t) Make Games. By having one sport, baseball or softball, reinstated back into the Olympics, that would draw attention to the lack of the other one. If that is the case, the IOC should strive to reestablish both sports to the 2020 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Games consist of sports that do not seem as popular as the American past time. There is synchronized swimming which does not seem nearly as well-liked as Softball. Other female sports, such as tennis, gymnastics, track and field, volleyball, and more are a big deal for girls and teenagers who dream of representing their country. People love watching these sports because they are a competition of the best female athletes. Whether it is a team sport or individual, it is still an exciting event, therefore softball, a team sport, should be put back into the Olympics because it is another one of those sports that is exciting to watch and aspire to be.
In conclusion, softball should be added back into the Olympics because it is inspiration for athletes to try to play and represent their country in a world event. Softball is a sport that motivates women and girls to participate in extracurricular activities, and it strives for gender equality and teaches people life lessons. One way for the IOC to see the impact of such sport in the Olympics is provide programs for children to work on their skills and encourage them to continue to their best of ability.
Baseball Softball Hopeful of Reinstatement to Olympics." FOX Sports. Web. 4 Feb. 2015. <http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/baseball-softball-hopeful-of-reinstatement-to-olympics-012314>.
April 10- What’s in a Number? Turns out, Everything for Lauren Hill
Numbers are very important to athletes. You could say they are superstitious about them, even. It is on their back and sometimes the front. It is their identity.
Now starting, number 22…
Foul on number 10…
Hey 12, good game…
Oh, did you see what number 45 just did?
I’m coming for you number 7…
Number 22 was special for Lauren Hill. At the age of 18, she found out she was diagnosed with Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a nasty, inoperable brain tumor, shortly after declaring she would play college basketball at Mount St Josephs in Ohio. She accepted the terminal diagnosis it as best she could.
However, Lauren, after going through all the stages of grief and make a wish trips, decided she really wanted to wear that number 22 one more time. To wear it on a bigger stage, to say her time was not done. She stated she wanted to hear the roar of crowd, the bouncing of the ball, and the squeaking of the shoes, to put on number 22 one more time. “…I just can't wait to be standing on this court in a basketball uniform, with the No. 22,” she said.
Sometimes you are dealt a bad hand in life, like Lauren. Or you can look at it that you got a tighter deadline than most. What will you do with it is up to you. Lauren decided to make the most of her short time on earth. She wanted to raise awareness for childhood cancer and be a voice for DIPG sufferers specifically. Usually small children are diagnosed with the fatal tumor and don’t even get half the years she got. Maybe they never get to wear a special number on their small backs. She wanted to be their voice, raise awareness, and raise necessary money to find a cure and end this suffering. And, maybe, wear number 22 one more time.
Lauren got her wish. Doctors sad she likely would not survive until December. The NCAA moved her team’s basketball game up earlier to November. More people heard. The game was moved to an arena that housed 10,000 people. The tickets sold out in minutes. She donned the jersey. She heard it announced, she felt through her feet the floor vibrate with the applause.
We were inspired.
It is always said when someone young dies. We mourn their loss and the loss of their future life, family, memories, perhaps children. Lauren Hill passed away April 9th, 2015 at the age of 19. She lived longer than the doctors said she would. At this writing, she has raises over 2 million dollars and lived a memorable life. Her courage will not be forgotten.
Did you see what number 22 just did?
Turns out it was a lot.
Please donate to Lauren Hill’s cause, the Cure Starts Now Foundation.
April 9- UConn Huskies Win NCAA Championship
The March Madness is over, and after all the shouting, (and lone loss to Stanford), it was still UConn left standing in the end. With the win, Coach Geno Auriemma claimed his tenth championship title. Love them or hate them, they have built a fantastic program. Ten titles, undefeated in any national game, wow that is just amazing.
(AP Photo/John Raoux))
Coach A said that the team makes the difficult look easy. Amen. C and R read some carping that UConn’s dominance is bad for the women’s game. Oh really. That being said, you go try to knock them off. It is hard to sustain excellence, especially with a new cast every year, and especially where you get everyone’s A game. It is difficult. Hats off to them on a great season, and Stanford will be gunning for you next year!
March 27- Stanford’s Season Ends in the Sweet Sixteen
So the Stanford’s Women’s Basketball Team lost to a very good Notre Dame team 81-60 in the Sweet Sixteen. Not every team can win a championship, and Stanford, Pac-12 Tournament Champions, sure showed those nay-sayers who did not even think they would get this far.
Oddly, it was the first time Stanford’s head coach Tara VanDerveer and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw have coached against each other in the post season. They are usually on opposite ends of the bracket with one of them running into the buzz saw that is UConn. Even more oddly, it was only the third time the two teams have met (Stanford won both in the 90’s).
The lack of a strong post player who can bang around and score definitely hurt against Notre Dame, although hats off to Erica McCall for scoring 12 and grabbing 10 boards for a double double. Our freshie rebounding Phenom Kailee Johnson had a tougher time when she was in. She finished with zero points and one rebound. She would be wise to work on finishing around the basket for next year.
Also hurting us was when guard Lili Thompson pulled up short with a knee injury. Stanford was only down by five with about nine minutes left in the first half. Replays didn’t show her having a traumatic event, just crumpled when running, but she was in a lot of pain. She went to the locker room for most of the first and Notre Dame made some runs. She was never really herself after that and not very effective in the second. She finished with two points.
The third thing hurting us was Notre Dame guard Lindsey Allen. She scored a career high 24 first half points, and made four 3-pointers. I know Stanford was keying on Notre Dame’s other guard Jewel Loyd, and limited her to six points in the first, but you have to at least get a hand in the face of Allen. To illustrate her hot hand, she made 16 threes all season long. Stanford gambled she would not keep hitting, but they also should have gotten to her faster on defense.
Stanford bomber, Bonnie Samuelson tried to keep Stanford in it hitting her threes in the first, but not much production from everyone else.
In the second half, Stanford finally stopped Allen (or she got cold) but then Jewel Loyd got hot. With Lili being limited in minutes, Bri Roberson was in and got into foul trouble, playing with three for most of the game. She was tentative on defense on Loyd and it showed.
However it was nice on the other end of the floor to see Bonnie to continue hitting her threes. When she hit her fifth of the game, she made ND’s Coach take a time out and take out her big player to put a smaller guard on Bonnie. It worked. Bonnie was then ineffective. She finished the game with 17.
Once Lloyd took over, and ND got a few fast break points, all the wind in Stanford’s sails was gone, and that’s all she wrote. Except Imma gonna write more!
It was not how Stanford or their fans wanted it to end, but if any coach did more with less, it was Tara VanDerveer getting great production out of her guards with a completely new offense. Stanford will miss all their seniors, none more than steady guard Amber Orrange and dead-eye Bonnie Samuelson.
Thank you all for a great season!
Now, to see if anyone can knock off UConn (no one gave us a shot in November!)
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