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Maple Ridge softball star says bronze medal win ‘surreal’

Larissa Franklin thanks supporters for cheering so loud
The Canadian women’s softball team with their bronze medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Larissa Franklin/Facebook)

Maple Ridge softball sensation Larissa Franklin has taken to social media to share her feelings on her team’s big win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Franklin took home a bronze medal after the women’s Canadian softball team came out on top in a tight match against Mexico on July 26 by a score of 3-2. It is the first Olympic medal ever won by a Canadian team for this sport.

“There was definitely a quiet confidence going into the game,” said Franklin, who returned home to Canada Wednesday morning.

And, she said, as the battle for bronze went on, the Canadian team were having good at bats.

“Whenever you are having good at bats you can trust that it will come and a ball will drop in when you need it,” she said.

Mexico were swinging hard, they were taking their hacks, noted Franklin.

In the final inning she remembers pitcher Danielle Lawrie repeating to herself in the dugout, one pitch at a time.

And at centre field Franklin started repeating a similar mantra. “Just saying next pitch, next pitch,” she said.

When Lawrie threw the last pitch and struck out the batter, everything just released, described Franklin, adding she ran in as fast as she could, finally allowing excitement to take over.

“We never knew if we would even get to the Olympics with how the last year has been. So to get there healthy. To get through without any hitches with COVID and be able to put our best foot forward, I was just happy that everything worked out,” said the ball player.

In a Facebook post from Japan on July 27, Franklin said, “Not quite sure when it will sink in.”

“I love this team and I will cherish the moments with this group more than anything,” she said, adding that the love and support she has felt from her supporters is overwhelming.

“Thank you sooo much for all of the texts, messages, and shoutouts. I appreciate them so much and will work to get back to everyone in the coming days,” she said.

“I don’t know what feels more surreal, that we won an Olympic medal or that we are all heading our separate ways with no clue when/if we will ever all be together in once place.

READ MORE: Pitt Meadows water polo athlete scores 2 in victory at Tokyo Olympics

“But here we are, bronze medal in hand, tears in my eyes, and a pretty full heart heading back to Canada,” Franklin went on to say.

Japan defeated the United States in the gold-medal game, successfully defending their Olympic title from 2008.

Softball has been dropped by the International Olympic Committee for the 2024 Paris Games.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge softball athlete takes bronze at the Tokyo Olympics

Tomorrow, July 31, at 11:30 p.m. PST, the Canadian women’s water polo team will be taking on the Netherlands, including Pitt Meadows athlete Monika Eggens.

Maple Ridge kayaker Brian Malfesi, the first sprint paddling athlete from B.C. to qualify for the Olympics in the past 33 years, will not start competition until Aug. 4 in Tokyo when heats are to begin for the men’s kayak double 1000 metres. Malfesi will be racing with kayaking partner Vincent Jourdenais of Quebec.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 15 years experience in the industry.
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