Cook happy to be off the court, but still
aiming to influence beach volleyball
NATALIE COOK
COUNTRY
Australia
YEARS PLAYING
INTERNATIONALLY
19 (
now retired)
Debut at 1993 Santos Open, Brazil
HEIGHT
181
cm (5’9”)
HOMETOWN
Brisbane, Australia
DATE OF BIRTH
19/01/1975
HONOURS
2012
Confederations Cup gold
2012
First Australian women
to compete in five Olympic Games
2003
FIVB Beach Volleyball World
Championships bronze
2000
Olympic Games gold
1996
Olympic Games bronze
1996
FIVB Beach Volleyball World
Championships silver
2003
FIVB World Grand Prix bronze
2003
FIVB World Cup bronze
2004
Olympic Games Best Digger
2002
FIVB World Championship silver
2001
FIVB World Grand Prix Best Digger
2001
FIVB World Champions Cup
Best Digger
For the first time since 1993, Natalie Cook will not be gearing
up for the start of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The
five-time Olympian tells VolleyWorld about her memories
of life on tour, how much she will miss it and what she has
planned for the future.
While there is part of her that will miss the daily grind of training
and travel, the 2000 Olympic champion is happy to just be focusing
her considerable energy on developing the sport in her homeland,
Australia.
My heart will always beat to the beach volleyball drum, so when it
is FIVB season time then I will feel it,” Cook told VolleyWorld. “I love
the thrill of the competition, the whistle blowing, the score flipping
over, and the cat and mouse game with my opponents. Our game
is a physical, mental and emotional challenge, not only with your
opponent but with yourself and your partner.”
Cook called it a day following the London 2012 Olympic Games.
She and her partner Tamsin Hinchley were unable to make it to the
knockout rounds, but in no way did that diminish her achievement
of becoming the first beach volleyball player to play in five Olympic
Games.
In fact she has played in every Olympics in which beach volleyball
featured; from its debut at Atlanta in 1996 to glory on the golden
sands of Bondi Beach at Sydney 2000 when she and Kerri Pottharst
became Olympic champions on home turf. Then came a fourth place
at Athens 2004, fifth at Beijing 2008 and one last hurrah in front of
15,000
fans at Horse Guards Parade in London.
Cook made her World Tour debut at Santos, Brazil during the 1993-94
season.
Cook said farewell to professional beach volleyball at the London 2012
Olympics – the fifth Games of her career.
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