Q&A with U.S. Olympian Cat Osterman
July 29, 2008
The most decorated player in the history of Texas Softball, Cat Osterman is already a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, a four-time All-American and a three-time USA Softball National Player of the Year. However, her trophy case won't quite be complete without another gold medal from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. As Osterman and her Team USA teammates prepare for a run at the team's fourth straight gold medal, she stopped by the Forty Acres and checked in with TexasSports.com to give her thoughts on the Games, softball's Olympic swan song and life after graduation.
You are gearing up for your second Olympic Games after winning a gold medal in 2004. What are you expectations this time around: It is an honor to be on Team USA anytime and to be able to go to the Olympics twice has been a goal of mine and it is a huge accomplishment. I think I am more prepared and more mature this time as I already know what it is like to be in the Olympic atmosphere. Even though I have been to the Olympics, I am still excited and a little nervous, but at least I know what to expect this time around. I think with USA I have earned my keep and I have proved that I can take on international competition. It will be very exciting to have a little bigger role this time than I did in 2004.
This time around Team USA has a smaller pitching staff and your role will be more significant. Talk about what it means to be getting the ball in key situations now: It is huge for me. We went to the World Championships and I got the ball in both games on the gold medal day. For me that was really the turning point because I knew how much confidence Coach Candrea had in me. I hope that I can carry that on with me to the Olympics. You can't ask for anything but to be given the ball as many times as you can and with our smaller pitching staff we will definitely see more innings than last time.
The 2008 Games are the last Olympics for the sport of softball. What is the importance of these Games for you and for Team USA: It is disappointing because this is the last Olympics and many of us could have played in one or maybe two more Olympics. I think for our team right now we try not to think about that too much. We are trying to stay focused on the task at hand which is game one and everything between there and winning a gold medal. After we are done we can think back on what we have done with Team USA. It will be bittersweet because we will know that we will not be going through another four years of preparing for a big stage like the Olympics. Personally, I want to go out and put on a good show, I would have played in 2012, so I want to make the most of this opportunity to go out and show the world what softball is about. Hopefully we can changes some minds and maybe the vote will go the other way next time.
Once the Olympics are over what will you be doing as far as your playing career: We will still have USA stuff, we will have the World Cup, the 2010 World Championships and Pan American Games. We will still have a national team and I will keep playing every summer in the National Pro Fastpitch league with the Rockford Thunder.
You graduated from The University of Texas in May of 2007. Walk us through what Cat Osterman has been up to since leaving the Forty Acres: After graduating in 2007 I moved to Rockford, Illinois to play for the Rockford Thunder and competed with the national team at the Pan American Games last summer. I liked the change of pace of living in Illinois and I approached coach Eugene Lenti at DePaul about possibly volunteer coaching because I wanted to be somewhere new. I have family up in Chicago so I knew that I was far enough away to kind of be on my own, but still have help nearby if I needed it. As it worked out I got a paying job as DePaul's pitching coach and I enjoy working with the program even though I missed a lot of time this year with the Bound 4 Beijing USA Softball tour. I did a lot of traveling with the team this year, playing 60 games in 40-something different cities. This year was a lot of touring and a little bit of coaching and now that our tour is over we are getting ready to head over to Beijing for the Olympics.
What is your game plan after the Olympics are over? What will you be up to other than coaching at DePaul: I will be coming back to Chicago, coaching for at least a couple of more years. I am going to begin work on my MBA this fall and just see where my life takes me after I finish my masters. I enjoy coaching, so I can see myself coaching for awhile.