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Rojas, who will play softball for her home country of Venezuela, competed for the Cavaliers from 2000-03 and ranks among the top 10 in 19 categories on Virginia’s career lists. The 2000 ACC Rookie of the Year, Rojas and the Venezuelan team have four-time defending gold medalist United States up first, at Noon local (Midnight EDT) on Tuesday, Aug. 12. That game will be broadcast live on CNBC.

Question: What part of the Olympics are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to every single day. This has been a life-long dream of mine so I am going to enjoy each second, day and week to the max. But to really answer the question, I am looking forward to the Opening Ceremonies. That is the highlight of the whole Olympic Games, having all nations and cultures come together for one cause sports. It’s a beautiful experience. I am also looking forward to, of course, competing and putting all my lifetime hard work in this precise moment.

Question: What will the Opening Ceremonies mean to you?
Opening Ceremonies will indicate all those years I spend dreaming and watching the Olympic Games as a little girl and finally I am here in the present. Also, its a time where all nations, cultures, different religions, male and females, young and old, no matter the political schemes, come together for one event and live one of the most precious moments in their lifetimes.

Question: How does it feel to compete for your home country of Venezuela?
I have been on the national team for almost 10 years now, since I was 17 years old, so I was on it even when I was at UVa from 2000-2003. It has been an honor to represent my country even though I was raised in the States. Team Venezuela has given me the opportunity to play at the best international level and the ability to see the world.

Question: What do you expect the softball atmosphere to be like?
I was in China in 2006 for the Women’s World Softball Championship, which was an Olympic qualifying tournament. We were actually a pilot study for the Olympic Games. The stadium that we played in was also going to be used for the Olympics and it was always sold out. Softball is very popular there and I know that the softball games are completely sold out for the Olympics. I can’t even imagine how many people will be at the games watching. I am extremely excited. Plus my parents will be attending!

Question: Is there any special emphasis or meaning this year because it is the last time softball will be included in the Games (at least for now)?
Yes, there definitely is a lot of emphasis this year because it will also indicate if it will be reinstated for the 2016 Olympics. Next year, 2009, will be the year we will find out if that decision has been made. Therefore, the results of these Olympics and how the IOC interprets the results will be an indicator if it will be put back in. I have my fingers crossed!

Question: Are you going to have the opportunity to see any other events in Beijing?
I really do hope we have the opportunity to see other events. I really want to support our other athletes from Venezuela in their events, such as men’s and women’s volleyball and boxing. However, I have always been a fanatic of gymnastics, especially since that was my first sport as a kid. I would love to see the Soviets, China, Romania and the U.S., whom are always potent in gymnastics. Lastly, I would also love to see basketball, especially Team USA. But we’ll see.

Question: Are you looking forward to visiting China? Is there anything in particular you are excited to see?
When I came two years ago, I was able to see the Great Wall of China and that was absolutely amazing. I also got to see the enormous temples of Buddhism. However, I would like to go back because when you go back for the second time, you see things that maybe you didn’t notice before.

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