LEXINGTON – For the first time in the history of the Kentucky Softball team, the Wildcats will be sending a representative to the Olympics as 2012 UK graduate and current Director of Softball Operations, Brittany Cervantes, will be heading to Tokyo this summer.
Cervantes is not only the first UK softball player ever to compete in the Olympics, but is also the first player coached by UK head coach Rachel Lawson to make a roster for the games.
Representing Mexico, Cervantes will be competing in the first Olympic Games to have softball since the 2008 summer games in Beijing.
“I want to start by thanking the Mexican Softball Federation for giving me this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Cervantes said. I’m happy that we were able to come up with the wins to put us in a position to qualify for the sport’s biggest stage next summer. This opportunity is something you dream about, and especially now that softball is back in the Olympics. I want to thank Coach Lawson and Kentucky for being such an integral part of seeing out this dream and I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without all of the support that I’ve received from my family.”
Softball begins in Tokyo on Wednesday, July 22 in Tokyo and the medals will be handed out on Tuesday, July 28. The actual start date of the competition is two days before the formal opening ceremonies to be held on Friday, July 24 at New National Stadium.
“My favorite part about Brittany’s journey is that she has become a pioneer sports woman,” Lawson said. “It is quite an accomplishment to be a part of the first Mexican National Team to qualify for the Olympics in the sport of softball. Brittany exemplifies what it means to be a Wildcat.”
The softball tournament will feature a single round-robin of the six teams followed by a bronze medal game and a gold medal game. 17 games will be played in total.
Japan, the host nation, has already qualified. Also qualifying are the United States, Canada, Mexico and Italy. One more spot is up for grabs in the Asia/Oceana region which will be determined later this month.