By Dave Merchant firstname.lastname@example.org
The Allen Park Community and St. Francis Cabrini has one heck of a reason to celebrate. 2008 Cabrini graduate and University of Michigan 2012 graduate and alumni, Amanda Chidester has made the 2020 United States Olympic Softball team.
“I found out I made the team Sunday October 6th at 8:30am central time,” Chidester said. “This was the last thing on my softball to do list. I played at my dream college, I played in Japan, Italy, and Argentina, I played in the NPF, and now I will play on the highest stage of softball: The Olympics. The second I made the team in 2012 I held on hope that it would get back in the Olympics and I would have a shot. The moment is finally here and I am speechless. There are so many emotions from the last 4 years.”
Her parents and family were elated. “They are extremely proud. I think we are all having trouble finding words for how we feel,” she commented. “There are so many different emotions. My journey took a different route to get to this point, but it made this moment even better. They have all supported me from day one. It has been one heck of a ride.”
She was surprised when she found out. “I was in my hotel room on the couch,” she said. “We were told an email would be sent out at 8:30amCT. Let’s just say it wasn’t the best night of sleep! When 8:25 hit my heart was pounding out of my chest. I had knots in my stomach. I have never had any of those feelings to that extreme before! At 8:29 all I was doing was refreshing my email, at least 20 times. It finally came through. I clicked on the attachment and I saw my name. Hannah Flippen was my roommate and she came out and we gave each other the biggest hug ever. My body was shaking and I just went limp in her arms. “We did it” is what we kept saying. Hannah and I went on the journey together in 2018 and I am ecstatic it will continue. The whole day I had the anxious tightness in my chest, like I just wanted to scream.
It still hasn’t completely settled in. So many emotions ran through me all at once and I had no idea what to do with them. These next few days I will be able to process them all and hopefully find some words to describe “all the emotions” I keep referring to.”
Amanda will play catcher and first base for the USA. The games begin in July of 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. She will be excited for some time. “I am so proud but so exhausted. These days have been such a whirlwind,” she said. “I am excited to be home and really digest the last 8 days and the last 5 years leading up to this.”
They have training camp with the team possibly in November and December. Still finalizing the funding to get the team together. “All the in between time I will continue to do my own training,” she said. We start the tour January 30. We have a tour stop June 8-11 in Lansing and Midland Michigan! Mark your calendars all you Michigan softball fans!!”
Assistant AD of Cabrini and Softball Coach Debbie Norman had this to add about Chidester: “We, at Cabrini, are all very proud of Amanda's accomplishment. It has been her dream and despite some setbacks, Amanda continues to pursue her softball career. Amanda has been a great role model for all of our young athletes. What makes her special is that she has always shared her knowledge with younger athletes and gives back to the sport she loves. Go Chiddy!”