Work in Sports
United States softball pitcher Michele Smith is at her second Olympic Games. Smith, who was 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA for the gold-medal 1996 team, is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and has played softball in Japan.
How's it going, so far?
One of the most exciting things for me was the incredible lighting of the flame last night at the Opening Ceremony.
This morning I walked out of our house in the Olympic Village and the first thing I saw was the flame in the Stadium. I finally felt the Games were really here. It's on!
It just really struck me this morning when I saw that flame because it wasn't there the whole rest of the week, and now, it's just boom, right there when we walk out of our house. That is very touching to me.
The whole softball team is living in one house. It's interesting. We get along really well. We are a tightly knit team, so staying together is going to be positive.
We watch movies we brought over, and we are all trying to communicate on the two phone lines and on our cell-phones. I'm living in the garage apartment. It is not very insulated, so the first couple of nights we froze until we could figure out how to work the heater.
There were no mirrors in the house either, so we went out to K-Mart and bought some mirrors. On the way back, one of our teammates, pitcher Lori Harrigan, tripped, fell and broke her mirror. She says it's good luck, because she said she broke a mirror once before and then pitched well.
There are four bathrooms for 17 women which is making things a little cramped. We are all in good spirits though, and we are all adapting. We've been in a lot better, but we've also been in a lot worse.
Which teams are you most excited about playing?
I'm most excited about playing Japan, just because I know so many of the players there, having played in Japan. Two of them were my teammates.
I'm really excited to play Australia, as well, because the stadium is going to be crazy. It's going to be rocking and rolling and we will be ready for it. Of course, I'm looking forward to playing China, the team we beat for the gold medal last time around. I don't know if there is one favorite.
Who came over here to watch you play?
I have friends and family here. My mom and dad are down. My sports agent and manager will be in. My catcher and pitching coach from Japan, and my first pitching coach from New Jersey will be here.
I wish all my friends and family could have come with me. But it is going to be a tough go for the few Americans that are in the stands trying to yell over all of the Aussies.