The 2000 Olympic champion Natalie Cook was a very popular visitor to the Volleyball House on Wednesday
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 11, 2016 – As thousands of athletes from over 200 nations challenge their own limits of athleticism in this quadrennial showcase known as the Olympic Games, a question that arises often is ‘What if I don’t win.’
A pause for thought for those who don’t reach the top of the podium or the podium at all in the preeminent global athletic extravaganza.
Is the first thing you think about when it comes to this incredible global event the winning and the quest to win one of those sparkling, circular-shaped pieces of metal? Probably, right? And there’s no shame in that. A new day dawns for most and many a quest is renewed, unfortunately not all embark again on the journey to the ultimate podium.
But a legend of beach volleyball is aiming to help change all that and take care of those thousands of athletes who aren’t so fortunate to step on the podium and see their name in lights on the scoreboard.
Natalie Cook, Australia’s five-time Olympian and 2000 gold medalist with Kerri Pottharst has twice tasted glory at previous events, scooping up the bronze medal in 1996 in Atlanta and the gold medal in Sydney four years later in her home country. She played in five Olympic Games, finishing on the podium the first two Olympics and missing out on the last three, ending her illustrious playing career at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Australian Natalie posted a heart-warming video in the back of car as she returned from an important meeting in Rio of the FIVB athletes commissions regarding all athletes at this and all past and future tournaments.
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And she makes a good point…there may be 10,000 athletes at this event but only 306 shiny pieces of metal in each color up for grabs across 28 sports.
“It’s a happy time for some, but an empty time for others,” Cook comments. “It certainly makes you stop and think.”
Expanding further, the popular Cook, who is an active in the leadership of the Australian Olympic Committee, reflected, “”Reflecting on performance and all those that finish their races or games and leave without being satisfied. 10,000 of the best athletes in the world all coming together with a similar dream to win and Olympic medal.”
“There are 306 medals in each color across 28 sports. (Across a global population of 7.4 billion) It is a happy time for some but an empty time for others. I have given out many hugs already and I am sure there will be many more. Be proud to be an Olympian and continue to stand tall for your contribution to the world through sport and all you do is so important to the world.”
So if you’re watching the competition or reading about just remember – it’s not all about the winning, it’s the taking part…