Michele Mary Smith
June 21, 1967 |
Califon, New Jersey
|College team||Oklahoma St. Cowboys|
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for United States|
|Gold||Atlanta 1996||Team Competition|
|Gold||Sydney 2000||Team Competition|
Michele Mary Smith (born June 21, 1967 in Califon, New Jersey) went to Oklahoma State University. Michele Smith is a double Olympic Softball Gold Medalist with the U.S. National Team, having played in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. In 2006, she was inducted into the ASA Softball Hall of Fame. She has also played professionally in the Japanese Professional Softball League since 1992. She is a 7-Time Japanese Pro League Champion & MVP. Presently, she is playing for Toyota Shokki and serves as a Softball Analyst for ESPN. She continues to serve as Ambassador of Softball to bring softball back to the Olympic Games in 2016.
Smith attended Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner, New Jersey, where she set school records for wins, strikeouts and no hitters. On July 21, 1986, while Michele's father was driving her home from an oral surgeon's appointment, the sleeping Smith was thrown from the truck when her door opened on a turn. She was thrown into a roadside post, chopping off part of her elbow bone and tearing her triceps from her left arm, which severed the muscle and nerve endings in her golden pitching arm. The accident forced her to not only face the trauma of her injury, but also the end of her life as she had known it. "It was like losing my identity," she says. Her life was far from over, after 9 intensive months of rehab she made her comeback as a pitcher at Oklahoma State University. She returned throwing 3 mph faster than before the accident.
Smith was inducted into the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1998.
Softball is not Michele's only calling. She played Basketball and Field Hockey also. She is a left-handed pitcher and started playing at 5 years old. Michele is often called Smitty, Lefty, and Silky- for her 'silky' arm swing. Michele is an official citizen of Japan, and works for Toyota in Kariya, Japan.
- Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com
- . Accessed February 28, 2011.
- Hall of Fame, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association. Accessed August 26, 2008.
- US Olympic Softball Legend Michele Smith Joins MLB on TBS Tomorrow; Makes History for MLB on TV