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Op-Ed Special
“Why I Traveled Over 10 Million Miles”
Porter’s “Inclusion/Exclusion, Softball’s Olympic Odyssey
Special Contribution
By Don E. Porter
Chairman Don E. Porter (right) poses for the camera with his wife Madam Porter at his book signing ceremony in the Unites States.

During the course of a 40+ year odyssey, that of bringing a little known merican domestic sport in to the Olympic arena, I had to travel mostly from my base in Oklahoma City by air to over 100 countries.

In the early days of non-jet flights it was even more difficult both in air time and surviving smoke by smokers in those sealed aluminum tubes they called airplanes.

Actually there were even more miles not recorded, by military aircraft taking me to the far flung regions of Asia and Europe during the time of conducting sport clinics.

As the miles added up so did the stress level resulting in medical issues let alone the wear and tear on my body especially my legs, surviving long walks between airport gates/terminals and the many weekends of running up and down the artificial turf of football fields.

To my amazement I survived including a hijacking in the earlies seventies which I didn’t get any extra miles credit but did get to testify at the hijacker’s trial.

Don E. Porter’s “Inclusion/Exclusion, Softball’s Olympic Odyssey”

Speaking of hijacking that was not the only time, which brings to mind a cameljacking in Tunisia, eventually settled for $20 USD.

My really first experience of flying was a military air evac plane during the Korean War, an old and older two engine converted DC3, and then eventually to DC6s&7s four engines to such locales as Okinawa, Guam, Hawaii and Germany.

While there were times during flights of being nervous that mainly came on going to North Korea during the mid-1990s, NK’s Air Koryo didn’t seem the most reliable way of getting there, safely and getting back, but the only way.

Most of the ten million plus miles were mainly in hoping in bringing Olympic recognition to the sport of Softball, and the young female athletes who aspired to play on the Olympic diamond.

While there are many more tales to spin of the “friendly” skies” or not so friendly, I will leave it there for now, in that I recently survived two back to back flights of 23 hours or more! Oh, and Softball is back in the Olympics along with Baseball in 2020 in Tokyo. Oh, I am supposed to be retired but, I hope to be there if there are still jets spanning the globe!

*Porter’s book, “Inclusion/Exclusion, Softball’s Olympic Odyssey” available Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book outlets.

Porter Earns "Collar" of Honour Award

Don Porter has spent most of his adult life diligently promoting softball around the world, and now the World Baseball Softball COnfereration (WBSC) has honored his dedication to the sport by swarding him its Collar of Honour.

Porter, who has served on the United States Sports Academy's was awarded the honor by WBSC President Riccard Fraccari during the organization's recent meeting in Botswana.

Porter was the president of the Internatinal Softball Federation (ISF) when it merged with the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) to become the WBSC.

The Collar of Honor is the supreme recognition given by the WBSC. It honors those people who contributed to the foundation of the organization and its success.

Under Porter's leadership, softball was frist elected to be part of the Olympic program for the Atlanta 1996 Olympics. After the sport's removal from the Games following the Beijing 2008 Olympics, Porter helped fround the WBSC, which set as a goal the inclusion of baseball and softball in the Olympic program.



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The above writer, Don E. Porter, the Korean War's American veteran, serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times. He has been serving as president of the International Softball Federation (ISF) since 1987. He can be reached at depcoop1@gmail.com

 

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