Jun 142015

Unknown-10 Natalie Louise Cook OAM (born 19 January 1975) is an Australian professional beach volleyball  player and Olympic gold medallist.

Early Years

Natalie or Nat was born in Townsville, Queensland.  She captained the Australian Indoor Junior Team in 1992. The following year,  she began playing beach volleyball. In 1994 she went professional and gave up her pursuit of a medical degree.

Representing Australia

Cook partnered with Kerri Pottharst to represent Australia at the Atlantic Olympics  in 1996, winning a bronze medal—the first time that beach volleyball had been an Olympic sport.
In the same year, the pair won a silver medal at the world championships, and came first in the World Tour Event in Japan.

Cook and Pottharst did not play together again until 2000. They finished third in the World Tour Events, held in France and Portugal, and then participated in the  2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. They dominated the competition, winning the gold medal. In the aftermath of their Olympic win, the pair were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. Cook and Pottharst were included in the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball‘s Team of the Decade. After the Olympics, Pottharst retired, and Cook found a new partner in Nicole Sanderson. They won a bronze medal at the 2003 Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rio de Janeiro. and by the end of the 2003 world tour, were ranked fourth in the world. They were subsequently selected to represent Australia at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. After a promising start, they finished out of medal contention, losing to teams from Brazil  and the United States. For the 2008 Summer Olympics, Cook partnered with Tamsin Barnett,finishing fifth overall. On 1 August 2012, Cook’s record-breaking beach volleyball career came to an end with her elimination from her fifth games in London.

A Married Womanimages-6

Although Australia does not legalize same-sex marriage, Cook obviously went to another country and is married to fellow beach volleyballer Sarah Maxwell.  The couple live in Brisbane, Queensland.

Nat the Motivator

Nat is an inspirational leader and has written two books:

  • Go Girl! (2001)
  • Health & Wellbeing Millionaire

Motivational Speaker

Nat constantly tells her listeners to have a dream and add passion and sheer determination.  She loves to say,

  • “We’re all hardwired for success. It’s in our DNA. I’ll help you ignite your passion and pinpoint your purpose to achieve what you’ve always visualized!”
  • Another of her sayings is:

“It’s time to achieve your dreams and unleash your potential. Every context for success is different but the message of grit and determination remains the same, and it’s all about your journey. I’ll help you write your very own success story.
Nat believes that we have to leave our comfort zone and motivate ourselves higher and wider.

And she tells listeners:

Be fearless and most importantly laugh along the way. It’s time to activate your aspirations and start the party today. You’re on the edge of your very own evolution.

Isn’t it great when one of our own rainbow sisters is out on the circuit empowering women.  Thanks, Nat.



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