“I started to cry,” Billingsley said. “I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. For officials, we go through the process of doing our craft and being evaluated, and then at some point we’re told we’re good enough to go.” Frances Billingsley
Western News – Western student gets rare chance to fulfill Olympic career goal In 2016, the World Softball Baseball Confederation learned softball was being included in the 2020 Olympics.
Pandemic detour “I prayed with every fibre of my being that it wouldn’t be canceled,” she said. “It was a roller coaster for the last year and a bit.”
When the Olympic Games were postponed after the global pandemic hit in 2020, the joy of being selected for the Games turned into a huge disappointment, Billingsley said. The uncertainty of whether the Olympics would even take place loomed over both athletes and officials. Over the next four years since, a series of events were held to evaluate and rank umpires and determine who would qualify for the Games.
While there was doubt whether the Olympic Games would take place in 2021, Billingsley continued to prepare physically and mentally for the competition. Billingsley also developed her physical fitness routine, doing squats with weights in each hand to prepare working behind home plate. She said home plate umpires squat 300 times a game. In addition, she completed interval training using her treadmill.
Games like no other She had monthly Zoom calls with her Olympic crew, which helped them bond as an officiating team, she said. She also enrolled in a six-week mental toughness course that was adapted for officials.
Although softball games took place in an empty 44,000-seat stadium, Billingsley said the experience was still spectacular because of the intensity of how the athletes played. She had monthly Zoom calls with her Olympic crew, which helped them bond as an officiating team, she said. She also enrolled in a six-week mental toughness course that was adapted for officials.
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