Former Eagle catcher Cecchetti to represent native Italy in Tokyo
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It takes between three and four years to construct a team for the Olympics and the COVID-19 pandemic made that wait even longer this time around.
But, as former Tallahassee Community College softball player Elisa Cecchetti will tell you, the wait was worth it.
“I could not believe it. It took me a little bit to actually realize what that meant. I don’t think I have realized it yet. I think it will take me actually being in Tokyo to actually realize what we’ve done,” Cecchetti said, fresh off of winning the European Championship last week with Italy.
In 2016 and 2017, Cecchetti donned the yellow and blue with TCC.
Now, in 2021, she’s wearing the red, green and white as a member of the 15-player roster for Italy in the Tokyo Olympics.
But, it wasn’t until the team was presented the flag they’ll be taking to Tokyo by the Italian President just a few weeks ago that Cecchetti grasped the pride those colors hold.
”You just, there, understand how important it is to be representing your country and I think that just motivates me even more,” she said.
One of the first people she reached out to after making the team was none other than TCC head coach Patti Townsend.
Cecchetti remembers where she came from fondly and says it’s shaped her into where she is now.
”I was like I don’t think I would be the same player and the same person if I didn’t spend two years at TCC,” she said. “I’m so proud to represent my colleges on the biggest stage for athletes probably. I’m proud of be an Eagle and I’m taking it with me, 100%.”
Only six softball teams from around the globe will compete in the Olympic softball tournament, playing in a round-robin format ahead of the knockout round.
Cecchetti says she loves the pressure and she’s excited for the challenge that comes with representing Italy.
”You cannot step on the field thinking, ‘Oh, I don’t need to win this game, I’m going to win the next one.’ You have to get on the field and try to win every single game. So it doesn’t really matter who we’re playing. We just have to play our best and we’ll see what happens.”
Italy’s first game in the Olympics will be against the United States on Wednesday, July 21 (Tuesday, July 20 Tallahassee time). A full schedule of the 2020 Olympics softball tournament can be seen here.
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