Podcasts - Starting Point (Casey Jennings)

Natalie Cook: Walk Like A Champion

Welcome to episode six of Starting Point. In this episode, Casey sits down with Australian beach volleyball legend, Natalie Cook. Natalie grew up the oldest of two children in Townsville, Australia, and became the first Australian woman to compete in five different Olympic Games. At her first Olympics in Atlanta, Cook bounced back from a humiliating semi-final defeat to earn bronze against Barbara Fontana and Linda Hanley. Unsatisfied with her finish, Natalie started to dig into championship psychology and was fortunate to cross paths with an upstart motivational speaker named Kurek Ashley. Along with daily mental and emotional training, Kurek helped cultivate confidence in a young Natalie Cook. “The biggest thing I learned from him,” says Natalie, “was to carry myself like a winner. I wanted spectators to look at my posture on the court and think I was winning, regardless of the score.” In 1998, Cook set her sights on Olympic gold in Sydney and dedicated herself to upholding a gold medal standard in all aspects of life. This consisted of eating, sleeping, talking, walking, and training like an Olympic gold medalist. And it paid off. In 2000, Natalie Cook and partner Kerri Pottharst dominated the competition, winning gold in front of their compatriots in Sydney. In this conversation you will hear about all of this and more. You’ll also get a glimpse into Natalie’s childhood and hear a very candid retelling of some pivotal moments from her personal life. So sit back and enjoy this interview with one of the all-time greats, Natalie Cook.