Jennie Finch turns 33 today and she knows exactly what she wants for her birthday - the return of softball to the Olympics. Finch, who appeared in the 2005 SI Swimsuit issue, won a gold medal with the U.S. at the 2004 Games and added silver four years later. She also had a record 60-game winning streak at the University of Arizona. In a recent essay for USA Today Sports, Finch pleaded her case:
The recent 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's historic and society-changing "I Have A Dream" speech is a timely reminder to all of us about the power of dreams – dreams of a personal nature as well as dreams of a better world. A world which, for me, would enable more women to participate in the greatest celebration of sport and humanity on our planet, the Olympic Games.
Like King's dream, my dream is also shared by millions of people from all backgrounds and cultures, but it has not yet been fully realized.
This is a situation that can be corrected if the IOC votes to add softball and baseball to the 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC's decision also could be historic and society changing.
The IOC meets Sunday to vote on whether softball should return for the 2020 Olympics. In the meantime, here are some photos of Finch to celebrate her birthday.