Just Havin a Crack

EP 9 Natalie Cook, A ROCK N ROLL OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL

August 04, 2020 Blakey & Banger Season 1 Episode 10
Just Havin a Crack
EP 9 Natalie Cook, A ROCK N ROLL OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL
Chapters
Just Havin a Crack
EP 9 Natalie Cook, A ROCK N ROLL OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL
Aug 04, 2020 Season 1 Episode 10
Blakey & Banger

Giday and welcome to Just Havin a crack.

A ROCK N ROLL OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL

Today we talk to Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Cook. Nat was one part of the Olympic Gold Medal winners of the Female Gold Medal for Beach Volleyball in the Sydney Olympics. One the same day in 2000 as Cathy Freeman won gold in the 400m.
The Volleyball at the Sydney games was given rock star status. Located on the beach at the famous Bondi Beach, 10,000 people crammed into the grandstands to watch Nat and Kerrie Pottharst win gold against the red hot Brazilian team.
Nat's gold medal was Australia's 99th gold medal and Cathy's famously being the 100th gold medal.
Nat has her podcast series "On My Day" which is consecutive days on which the Tokyo Olympics which have been cancel due to COVID. We talk to Nat about her guests, her series is a great insight into an Olympic Athlete.
Nat is a five-time Olympian and is still heavily involved in the Olympic movement.

This is a story of can do and you will have a smile on your face the whole way through.

Show Notes Transcript

Giday and welcome to Just Havin a crack.

A ROCK N ROLL OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL

Today we talk to Olympic Gold Medalist Natalie Cook. Nat was one part of the Olympic Gold Medal winners of the Female Gold Medal for Beach Volleyball in the Sydney Olympics. One the same day in 2000 as Cathy Freeman won gold in the 400m.
The Volleyball at the Sydney games was given rock star status. Located on the beach at the famous Bondi Beach, 10,000 people crammed into the grandstands to watch Nat and Kerrie Pottharst win gold against the red hot Brazilian team.
Nat's gold medal was Australia's 99th gold medal and Cathy's famously being the 100th gold medal.
Nat has her podcast series "On My Day" which is consecutive days on which the Tokyo Olympics which have been cancel due to COVID. We talk to Nat about her guests, her series is a great insight into an Olympic Athlete.
Nat is a five-time Olympian and is still heavily involved in the Olympic movement.

This is a story of can do and you will have a smile on your face the whole way through.

Blakey :

Like hear me with bang how I bank

Banger :

Hi, I'm good Mike I'm good. It's a it's we start to get a few podcasts away and today's our first Olympian.

Blakey :

Yeah, absolutely gold medal Olympian, his gold

Banger :

medal Olympian and might just, it's been It was a fantastic chat.

Blakey :

Yeah, absolutely. This Our guest today bang have their own podcast series on my day. And you know, what a fantastic concept that is bringing bringing the Olympics to people when the Olympics were canceled because

Banger :

it wasn't at some if you get onto a on your any podcast station, have a list on my day, and our guest is Natalie cook. Yeah. And she's done. She's 17 interviews in 17 days she's doing and we've got we're sort of partway through that when we did our had our chat with her. But it's just going back and getting their Olympic moment if they were in that moment. Yeah, I mean, enemies Mitch, lock in. It's just it's Really good to listen to and you've got Olympian gold medalist?

Blakey :

Absolutely bang and you know, we talked in that today about her day being the 2000 Olympics. So bang. I hope it hope everybody enjoys our episode today on Nat cook.

Banger :

Yeah, and I'm looking forward to my enjoy

Blakey :

Welcome to just having a crack my name's Greg black, I'm here with banger how I bang. Hey,

Banger :

Blakey. I'm very, very good miner. We have our second female on the show today. I'm looking forward to this guest Mike,

Blakey :

absolutely Olympic gold medalist as

Banger :

well iconic gold medalist 2000 Olympics. I mean, we talk about Cathy framing, but I think Nat cook, who's on the line.

Nat Cooke :

And then we talk about Cathy Freeman is a story there. I made her famous Carrie and I might find this I'll tell you a little bit.

Banger :

We need to do that. We did talk about this la netcorp Olympic gold medalist next to me on my diet at the moment, which we'll talk about shortly.

Blakey :

Yeah, great podcast series right

Banger :

podcast series. It's just Taking people into the Olympics which we haven't had this year that's correct and I didn't know so we'll talk we'll get into that so high net net and I met in cat at Carnoustie I was on my honeymoon with Joe Yeah, the only thing I wanted to do on the honeymoon was go to the British Open Yeah, we went to so many stately homes all that which is cool. It was all cool stuff. Jonah did Yep. But it did not run 2018 summer didn't run once. Unbelievable. It was the coldest day one of the coolest things in life I'm walking around Can you see in there isn't that taking a selfie? And I had to say a lighter where we had a chat How good was that Nat

Nat Cooke :

miles on my cell phone so the lazy liner and I had no idea what I was doing what why is it raining my one day at Conde see I'd left my missus with the child so that I could run off to the golf I'm so impressed that you guys are pretty shy pins on your honeymoon and I would just found it wasn't an Android I thought all British Open Brits and androids and then when I was told I had to toggle on the county sales like what's up Had a great time. Clearly Tiger Woods came with coming back. We had a fantastic show Adam Scott did a great job Jason dice. I love my golf evanesce Nice.

Banger :

Yeah, it was a good day. We, we. We follow Jason Day on Friday and halls and then we actually came back through St. Andrews. I never seen St. Andrews you got to find out when the bridge was this. Edinburgh was fantastic. And now it was really good. So now you just go on to Scotland for holiday or you actually went there deliberately to go to the British Open.

Nat Cooke :

Mind. I had the bucket list of all bucket lists. I had a year in Switzerland, living in Switzerland because that's what my wife wanted to do. That was her dream. Yeah. And so we plopped ourselves in Luzon next to the IOC museum on like Geneva and then we had trips all over Europe and we went to Wimbledon. We went to the British Open, I did my sporting bucket list. I even flew across to the US Open on a bit of a tennis junkie as well. And I just, you know, we just loved it. We had the best sabbatical year before. My Going through which is next year,

Banger :

and now you're living back in Brisbane.

Nat Cooke :

Back in Brisbane, you love Briisy, a Queensland through and through born in Townsville and Brisbane time and same time for the last 30 years.

Blakey :

Yeah, I met you want to know I'll just talk about your podcast series on this day and just let everybody know what the concept is behind it and give us a bit of a

Unknown Speaker :

rundown on my debut. Don't get that wrong on my day. Sorry.

Nat Cooke :

You know, I'm just having a crack god run a podcast. I thought this is gonna be easy. You guys should be able to do it with your eyes closed. But I've since found out that the word podcast on a whiteboard should not be entertained, especially when you take 17 episodes in a row, one dropping one each day so that the on my day concept was met the athletes share with us with the games being postponed 12 month How do we get them to share that dream? And what their ideal gold medal winning performance looks like in their head when they go to sleep at night, right? Yes. And normally they don't share that because most athletes, especially at the Olympics, in the smallest boards are interviewed once every four years, they usually interviewed two days before they go out and someone sticks a microphone in a divers face or an archer spice and they're like, oh, here, you're gonna go, and the athletes not gonna say, oh, man, I'm gonna nail the women. Because they're afraid that it'll all go pear shaped or someone else will be better on the diet. You've tried your offer for four years. And you never know before. That's why we love it so much. So I just said to them, I said, Look, you've got safe, it's safe. I want you to share what you dream about it not what makes you cry. And some of the athletes have just been able to articulate it perfectly like they see it for visualization everyday. I can tell you what I'm Lisa wearing what songs on what songs on the Spotify list? So I can tell you who they're racing against or competing against, and then others are afraid to do that in case someone hears it. And then I get annoyed that they weren't in your gold medal. Right? Right. So it's just been so special. So we've had diamonds and BMX races. And Sally says, given the surface on

Banger :

Sally Fitzgibbons, are you gonna get that interpreted?

Unknown Speaker :

or listen to that last night had Cooley Shea she's

Blakey :

a great chick

Banger :

and some of the some of the language talking about you know, grammar. She was just, she was fantastic when she met.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, my when she said the word grum frost. I'm like, I need a dictionary. Clearly I'm too old and clearly I surfing language. It really is a culture thing and I just have passion on a desire to wear the ceremony jacket is just something

Banger :

like even hit This one you obviously need to listen to it which you're going to but it also she was so excited to be talking to that she was just like, it was like a little kid in grade five that was like talking to a hero. Yeah, and not saying that was you know, obviously that is one of our heroes, but just because Matt had been doing Olympics. Yeah, because she was so into it with psycho.

Blakey :

Well, you know, bang, I follow Sally on Instagram and all that sort of stuff. And her determination in answer just been a really, really great person had her fierce determination to training. And I mean, she can't she is just amazing.

Banger :

Now what about enemies? She was fantastic, too. I did. I've listened to enemies and Mitch Larkin. There's lots more out there. I know. But the other two I've listened to David great tonight.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, well, and I had to think about who I wanted to open the show with and of course, the opening ceremony is is the highlight for all of us as athletes and then to have to have the flagbearer talk us through what it was like to lead the team. I've got goosebumps talking about it with you right now like to lead the team out. What it means to be that flagbearer she talks through her accident where she almost is paralyzed to Mills more than a neck fracture. I was in the gym with her watching her lift weights with a broken neck. I was just like, in all walks. Yeah. It's just the stories in a book and being a mother and two gold medals and then a bronze medal in Rio. I could talk for hours. It's just,

Banger :

it wasn't that little. I mean, I suppose it was 40 minutes, but that that 40 minutes and she's a professional as well. I mean, if she does a lot of a lot of after dinner speaking and she has a lot of differences. Yeah, but just what the passion and the lessons that she'd say she told us bacon, that was amazing. Mitch Lachlan was pretty cool, too.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, just on that with Anna, that master class in changing one word, from what is to what is not we? And this is what happens to some athletes who they get so anxious about what if it goes wrong, and then I try I inspire them to think about what if it goes right, right? Hold on. Hold on to that case what if it goes right to you? And what if everyone pulls over in the right and you do a Bradbury and Morty? You know, it's a good thing like people's brains are wired to what if it goes pear shaped and that's where the anxiety and the doubts and the fears that will come in so we try and get to a place to try and keep everything looking forward. And that and then switching from it to the back strikeout it pulls it back. I'm like, Dude, look forward. He's like, Oh, can I go backwards? And and he talks about touching the wall with all the flashing 100 meter backstroke and you never really know who's won. And he hits a wall. He doesn't know if he won. He looks up to the school board. He still doesn't know if he's won because he wears glasses and he can't see that fire any sort of turn on his mom and tear she's screaming. He doesn't know whether he's won and that you know, in volleyball, you get to 21 person you win two sets and it's like over a period of 40 minutes. It's not 45 seconds and and you know your wins coming where's the hit me like, hit back bomb up and I'll see you guys.

Banger :

It's incredible

Blakey :

it is. I am not just wondering, you know the waters what what you spoke about? Is that something that sort of you've also learnt as you finish sort of competing at a professional level like with volleyball? Or did you always always have that, you know, we're going to do this as opposed we can't do this attitude.

Nat Cooke :

Now it really time for me. It's a learned trait and I struggled with it in the beginning. So we won a bronze medal in Atlanta 1996. So 24 years ago, we win the bronze medal. And I had had a mental implosion in the semi final which is why we were in the bronze and not in the gold. We were absolutely good enough to be in the gold. And at 21 I went through the Warriors we lose rather than what if we win and it was just simple Mining time, I had a mental capitulation, I came off the court, thankfully, when I recovered to the bronze, that's a whole nother story. But then I went on a mission to like what happened? How do I bolster and strengthen that mental game? The big setting spiking that'll come you do that every day, but how do I go about the mental fortitude and so I went on this amazing journey of fire walking and glass walking and belief, creating and, and basically, there's this guy sanko pyrrhic Ashley, who's a success coach, he would stand on the side of the court, literally every day for months. And anytime my body posture looks defeated, like I hit the ball out at night, my shoulders would slam through my head would slam for example, that was shit under my breath. He would be there to literally slap me over the head and say shoulders back, head up, change the thought we would restructure the thoughts and, and and a belief the beliefs structures as athletes have is whether they win or lose, right? So my belief is literally a thought you keep thinking. But just listen, like just stick with that for a moment, a belief is a thought you keep thinking. So if you can move the thought or change the thought to one that's going to have your performance improved so and to the point of like an affirmation of belief is so what you keep thinking over and over and over again. So what thoughts do you want to keep thinking and so what we come up with on a gold medalist on a champion, I can rather than all shoot, what if I can't tell you we started to Korea and create this creed and the story that we read every day and when I first started, half of my brain would go That's bullshit. You're not that and the other half would go, come on, you can do it. And it was like a building lots of training to build up to get to a point better I woke up one day and I'm like, should I believe this? Actually Believe it now and it just starts to get momentum

Banger :

that how do you go though, when you're not an individual sport? So you're in Atlanta, Atlanta in 96 first time beach volleyballs ever been in the Olympics? You go four years, or it's a few years, it says, I mean that you don't don't actually have a lot to do with Carrie. And then you got to get back together with her. So it was your job to get yourself right. And her job is to get herself right. And then you get together and then you work as a team again.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, well, we were supposed to stay together. We came out of Atlanta going from good. You convinced yourself that good and yes, yes, it is. It is good. Okay. But ultimately, when you put your head on the pillow at night, you dream of a gold medal. You don't dream of a bronze medal and I'd sit there and argue with anyone that wants to argue with me. You don't dream of coming third in the Premiership. You don't dream of getting the Broncos getting there with the cowboys and Johnathan Thurston as a bronco. You don't think about the person kicking a field goal to win, right? That's not how Got. So, so we do dream about winning. So Carrie and I came out of Atlanta and we like, this is gonna be awesome. We're gonna go from third to fifth happy dice, and we were shipped in 1997. Our results were the worst I've ever been. And so we split up, we found new partners because it wasn't going to plan. And in that moment, there was we hadn't sorted that coming together until probably a year and a half later, when a few things had happened. Terry had watched me go on my individual journey or firewalking glass walking. And she said, she called me we're in different countries. She said, I think it's time I've been watching what you've been doing. Let's, let's talk about getting back together. And when we got back together, then it was like a lock, locking of arm. We were absolutely on the same page. We had this common purpose. We went on a camp with our coaches, our three coaches and we built a business plan and Olympic plan and we can All loaded into one piece of paper. We all signed it. And basically it was everything. So in addition, well and so

Banger :

was their world championships before the Olympics. So where were you? What? What number in the world were you leading into 2000?

Blakey :

Or where was the sport at that stage?

Nat Cooke :

Well, the sport is in Atlanta just sort of put itself on the map. And then coming into Sydney on Bondi Beach, so iconic, and ironically all the nice size and all the people that didn't want it created, you know, used to hear the cliche, any press is good press. And so we were like, even though they're throwing eggs at the wall, and they don't want them to build a stadium, they thought it was going to fix it will actually made the surf better. So, so all of the naysayers created this attention, whatever I wanted to then see what happens at the beach volleyball and Carrie and I climbing through the ranks getting through winning our pools and getting into semi finals and getting to the final just Gramps, well, we, we were coming in about third or fourth, right? We hadn't. We were very good at coming sick, which is on the edge of that metal, we would occasionally come Third, we had a second on our world too, but we'd never really won a full roster event. We'd won somewhere people were missing. So, you know, and we had to create this groundswell the team we beat in in the Olympics was Brazil, and they had quite a 17 times and we'd only beat them once. Well, and so it was all a mind game. And of course, it's playing at home, remember, so the pressure should have been on that. But we had, we had trained to know that. They were the world champions. They were the ones that were expected to win and we were going to be that good old fashioned know the underdog and hold on to the run of the ladder when things got wobbly and white for our work. In the way that a claw on and when the coach said, they said it's going to happen about halfway through the first set, you'll see the white of Brazil on top of them. And that's when you go, you go hard. And it's exactly what happened.

Banger :

So one would on my day on your day, on that particular day that you win the gold medal. Take us back to that. I mean, the morning what time of the day was the was the event how many people were there? What did you What was your laid up?

Nat Cooke :

My there are goosebumps coming up from the ankles right now. It's very clear that it feels like yesterday. We, no one had expected us to be in the funnel and we were staying in an apartment or we were actually staying in a nunnery in randwick and then not climbing that salaries and we won because of their prayers. So we we we couldn't on the final day we couldn't physically get from the nunnery to the beach because of an Olympic cycling road right. Bloody cyclists. Funny cyclists. I then realized that a day and a half before like, we went missing the semi final we got to get to go out. So we've been in this accommodation for three weeks. And we've made our room all all golden and we've made ourselves at home and then all of a sudden after we win the semi, they say, girl, we got to move. You've got to move into the hotel across the road from the volleyball because you can't get out on the morning. We like to

Banger :

become a bit of a habit to nunnery.

Nat Cooke :

Exactly. Wait, we had to operate everything out of our room. We had to make a hotel room looks like time we wait, which we did, right? We just knew that we had one purpose and one focus to win a gold medal. So the night before, there was no sleep happening. I'm actually laying in bed and reciting my winning speech right? He said, What if? What if we win? I don't want to be fumbling or mumbling or I want to know who I've got to thank. So I was reciting my speech. I wasn't thinking about volleyball,

Banger :

which is a good thing sometimes in that.

Nat Cooke :

Absolutely. And I've gone through the game plan, we knew what we had to do was whether we could hold that remembering four years earlier, that capitulation, right. So there's all of that going on. And the moment I tell you try not to think about it, the more you think about it, so we wake up in the hotel, we're kind of corralled because of security and a little breakfast room. We wait, wait at breakfast, and then when we Marshal for the guy, the game stops on was 230. And we would go out at 12 to the court and get our preparation done. And we would come into the stadium under tunnel panels onto the bonsai Pavilion. It was like Secret Service stuff right like the rock stars coming into into into the singing what the whole concept yeah we end but we're in a bikini we got a little backpack on and we come under the stand and the crowd is rocking this is about 12 minutes to go because I don't want to have that too early to TV so all the preparation happens out the back with no one watching. Come on to the study and the idea of dropping a sample and down on it to bed at night you're under their eyes. And Anya now please Mike welcome from Australia Natalie cook and Carrie potthast and out we got up to 10,000 screaming all these with probably five Brazilian 10 the famous ob ob ob can't guys, you're in this like, well of energy and excitement. And then at the same time nervous as all hell shaking. Until the first bowl, the whistle was the first ball served and I hit your arms and you're like okay, you With your game on and, and there were a few points that was pivotal crucial points I had a rule change six months earlier that said if the ball hits the net on the serve normally assault and and I swapped service five days, six months earlier they said if the ball hits the net on a server it can't stop dribbles over, then it's a point and, and somebody had said it breakfast few months earlier. Oh, imagine if the Olympic gold medal was sorted by the dribble. And I'm back there to set it set point in the first set, and the ball hits the target in it and you just waiting like it's like deathly silent for the ball and the ball drops over on Brazil side to the point. So the first tip when it's all done outside Bonanza,

Banger :

the nuns you

Nat Cooke :

guys and then the second set Oh Brazilians were a hit nice to the time again you know they were very much more skillful players then after they'd said technically superior they would just right athletes but they were fried to wait and now fried salute so it was amazing to watch

Banger :

what was a cloud what was the crowd how many people are there cheering that the time

Nat Cooke :

and thousands and thousands of biggest crowd we've ever seen today and probably still the biggest because had the cabana beach last Olympics that actually cut out some of the standard I think it was 8000 when it was supposed to be a bit bigger but it's one of our biggest crowds we've ever seen. And bond idi if you remember was wrapping up the crowd the wave was going on primetime TV it was primetime on and it was just that was what you were watching Yeah,

Blakey :

well that's what I was gonna say that like my recollections of your your the beach volleyball got cult status through through the Olympics, you know with with what you guys wearing. You know, out on the beach, the music

Banger :

that we're wearing black are wearing bikinis.

Nat Cooke :

And we always said you know, I wear a tie for people to come to the bank to watch the bikini that they laid going. That is an impressive dynamic physical sport and I love it. Yeah, absolutely. And this is the part where we, you know, we made Cathy famous because it was, it was epic, but it was on the same day as Kathy's right before ours. That afternoon. We were the highlight until eight o'clock, September 25. Kathy Freeman's typing the track and, and she wins the gold medal and we won the 99 Gold Medal for Australia, Mike and Kathy the ideal perfect fairytale of the hundred Olympic gold medal for Australia. So without Ah, she would have had 99 it would have been very average.

Banger :

Do you guys go? Did you go to that?

Nat Cooke :

Ironically, I bought two tickets. In my plan a few years earlier. I'm always at every Olympics, I go, which events do I want to say personally to give me that inspiration? And I'll pick a swimming line and then a track and field, maybe the bicycle. And I had tickets, but of course, I couldn't make it. So I ran I had these tickets in my bag. And after we win, you've got drug testing and you've got pressed and you know, it all went pear shaped going heights gay and dancing on fives without bikinis on the outside of our jeans and pouring beers and, and I said to these two randoms on the side of the street, you want to go to Cathy Freeman. He has two tickets. It was like 1000 bucks with a ticket. Oh my god. So yeah, I gave my tickets away to Cathy Freeman.

Blakey :

I Nat let's just go back a fraction. Just talk us through all Maxi two questions. Talk us through the moment you won the gold medal and then told us Help felt standing on the doors listening to the national anthem

Nat Cooke :

Well like I said we were behind in every state so we went with one the first it would come back my third hit the net dropped over the second set we're down 11 eight in a game to 12 Yeah. And next you know it's I get to 12 though when to sit and it goes to decide well, we just dug in and dug in and Carrie is back on the lawn back home and timeouts as it gets closer and and we're just sort of looking at each other I'm pumping my face I'm like this is it. We've got to take it now because if you give these great teams a gap so so just the story would have been we got so close. And I take it off. Do you see it happen with Federer and Novak and you see it in golf as well. So we just said we got to take it right now two kids, go back there and just deliver she was the best server in the world, but he was it again at causing it. She's gonna hit me in the back of the head or someone in the stand and I'm standing at the net I'm bentayga I've got my special signals at the back of my bomb. I'm telling her what to do with it, which is basically what I call the firecracker like I'm saying just blast it. And, and I've got my shoulders up around my ears and he hits me in the back of the head. And she said this amazing bowl for an AI to get us to match points. Then she says another one that puts him under pressure the ball goes up really close to the net on blocking at this stage I'm jumping and trying to swap the ball and I missed it. Because it just says over the telephone man, I can feel it. You know, every interest and and I can feel that it's out. But a turn around. And Kerry's running to the school. That's Carrie never runs to the bowl because she prides itself in, never running, never diving. She hates sin. And she she would say off, I read the play really well and If I'm not there I just because I haven't read it. So I turn around and she's running and I'm like, just leave it I'm yelling at us and you can't hear anything. She's running she sticks her arm at Bigtable and I'm like, hold her on back. And the goal lands at by like a centimeter and we are waiting for the lawn judge to stick the flag in here which means the balls out yeah, that happens. We then look to the mind referee to see her cross around which means game over because you got to wait for that happen and then when that happens in a split second, Karen collapses to the Grand awful on top of she saying I can't believe it. I can't believe it. I'm going cool. She can you silly woman. And then and then it's like, give me the microphone.

Banger :

Good. I've got a I've got a nice

Nat Cooke :

which usually doesn't happen, they don't give the microphone out. And it's probably why because I took it for a long time and and then they rushed you off to get ready to go on the podium, which is the greatest photo I've got outside my wedding photo, except I had, I had horrible hair and Deborah Hutton was there and she leaned over and threw me a hairbrush and said, fix yourself up love. Right? Again, I'm on the podium and you just standing there waiting for them to first of all, they announced it in French. And then I say the winner of the Olympic gold medal from Australia. And then, of course, on my side, I said so well. Sorry. Yeah, just Nice amazing time in my life

Banger :

and what was the gold medal? What are the just it was it's gold and everything it was just a touch it would have been enough the touch inside that's mine I own that.

Nat Cooke :

I actually don't know if you know like that put around your neck and get a kangaroo you got flowers I don't know if I touched it for a long time there right like proud as punch the shoulders back. The crying didn't come till sort of lighter that dialight lighter that night because you you saw your fork and the adrenaline's running but not until you kind of drop your head you pick up the metal and you look at it and and you guys like just very proud not only for me, but for everyone that was friends family.

Banger :

Did you ever did you have a time where you know, the the cricketers, they went to test match and I go and sit in the middle of the aisle at midnight. Did you guys have a time you and Carrie where you just sat down somewhere and just went well?

Nat Cooke :

It was such a whirlwind after that, not really because we were, like I said Roy and haich D and rest and wait, we had a we had a media liaison assigned to us to make sure we got out of bed for the morning shows and because there's no sleeping going on that way. Middle of grant what we do now is September 25. Every single year, we carry Dasgupta bond documents in Sydney, she'll drop the bond or she'll take the champagne. I go as often as McCann is that 20 year anniversary this year, and it was absolutely planned to have a big party there, which of course now with COVID it'll be a little bit smaller, but we'll go and we'll celebrate we'll sit in the spot. And we'll just recollective How amazing we were and how great it was.

Banger :

Cool. That is such a great story bike in it.

Blakey :

Oh, yeah. Look, I got goosebumps just listening to it. To be honest. It's

Banger :

How hot How hot is it beach volleyball compared to volleyball like even at sand? I mean, is it just the endurance is the training for you train in the sand? I mean, is it you know, I heard Mitch Salat saying the other day and Anna that they do a lot of training not always on cycles or in the pool but how much hours to training?

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, ironically, like anything you get used to it so far, I got to the beach now to struggle to walk across the sand to get to the ocean, but when you're when you throw balling, and then a set align, it's like, you know, bitch, right. So you forget how difficult sand is that the body gets used to it? We do do a lot of kids do a lot and I said do so you put me right back there. Yeah, we that's great. We did a lot of gym work. We did a lot of cross check. We did a lot of water work actually running without a vest on so that we would take the gravity and the pounding out of our Lake because we jump a lot. So we have many other things. We would do yoga and meditations and we even did some archery because if you imagine doing archery, and you're focusing on a target, so it's the analogy and the attitude of, I'm going to hit the target. I gotta hit the target with my volleyball. I got to hit the target with my mind. And so we would do archery and pistol shooting did some fun things to teamwork stuff as well. So going on pm

Banger :

net after that magnificent day in your life and allies and Australians lives we the Sydney Olympics. You then go to Athens, you go to Beijing, you go to London, you came with Nicole and Tasman. how, you know, how hard was that? I mean, how close give it come close again. I mean, I know you got knocked out in some quarterfinals. And you obviously must have just love going to any Olympics. But what happened with your career after that?

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, I was bit of an Olympic junkie carry retired and that she was 10 years older than I am still is. So She's trying to pull that back. But so I picked I picked up Nicole Sanderson, we really should have won a medal in Athens, I had a rotator cuff shoulder problems and ended up playing the bronze medal match left handed because I couldn't be mom above my head. So that was devastating. More so for Nicole, because there's only two of you, there is no substitutions. We couldn't put someone else in the spot. And, and I really would have loved her to win that medal. And that was devastating. And we went into a drug test out there. I'm like, What are you testing me for just 10 full name. And as we come out of the drug test, so hearing the metals out and that was probably the most devastating moment of my career because it's okay when you don't see the metals and you don't see what else goes on. But they're right there and now we're announcing them and the flags are going up and you kind of had to self interest Their performances it was heartbreaking and and then Nicole retires because we both have shoulder surgery. Her body broke down and then I pick up tension and we get I just was in the search not to have that feeling again because it's never going to be this time but to wear the granting doctor started to be an Olympian to stand tall and proud and be a role model and, and, and be a personal best every day. It's just an epic adventure. And Panton was the perfect volleyball specimen. Physically, she was six foot four, she was strong and powerful. And we had a shot we can fit in Beijing, just missing out on the semi finals. And London was a what, Evan, you'll know in London was a wash, which means you don't even get on the scorecard. Oh, yeah.

Banger :

Okay. Okay.

Nat Cooke :

So last night, it was an epic time. I just, you know, I love Every bit of the Olympics and tell how that

Banger :

is when you when you talk on your on your podcast, the passion comes through and I know you're going to we're going to be going over there to take care with the Australian team as an ambassador, you involved in that side of things, too.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah. Well, I was privileged to go to Rio as an athlete liaison Ambassador after the whole pain to look after, you know, there was one of like seven of us. I was one of seven look after the 450 athletes. I since then have been on the president of the coins and Olympic Council, and we support the fundraising activities to send the team to the game. And since Rio, I'm actually on the world Olympians Association, board looking after the hundred thousand plus living Olympians around the world, so I'll be in Ipoh in the capacity with Ali Li, which is the now that the kind of the PhD letters for an Olympian we've got our own latest lLoY.

Banger :

That's cool.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, it's really cool. And it allows athletes to put it on that card and that social so people go, Oh, what's that? And you can say Actually, I was an Olympian, and then it creates that story because not every Olympian is well known. And, and some of them that are probably in smaller sports or in team sports. It's really hard to go. Hi, I'm Les Godfrey and Olympian. Right. But if you have, oh boy, after nine, it allows people to ask and be curious. So they have a thing in Tokyo called our White House, which is basically the Olympian house. And we encourage any Olympian from all over the world to come and enjoy the hospitality and maybe chaperone some partners or sponsors to games and really start to feel a part of the game. So

Banger :

that's really cool. I know, Mark knows of a bit to do with and he's, he's in critical fields for sport, too, and he, he does a lot. You know, he'd carried the flag and played hockey for Australia and there's some really Right. People have been carrying that flag for the Olympics,

Nat Cooke :

which is cool. He's amazing. He does a lot of work for all the athletes to the coincide Academy of sport and it's just a sensational blog as you said and to carry the flag to him in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. I think it was a very, very special moment. So it's great to be

Banger :

that he's a guy that not that many people know who he is, you know, you asked him and it's not no disrespect to Matt knows he carried the flag. Yeah, absolutely. He went to five Olympic city or six night

Nat Cooke :

for night but good

Banger :

for me before

Nat Cooke :

Borland takes full come off dine, Champions Trophy. You know, he's in the cuca baracy wanna Olympic gold medal? And you're right, because hotly hockey that's not a high profile sport in Australia. Yep. And then and then you're in a team of 15 how many blokes and and the hockey They don't want to protocol and lift people out and of the team. So, you know, the boys find it hard and the girls in the hockey room find it hard to push their personal brand in a day when you need to, to, to get noticed, it's very difficult. So tougher Olympians. Especially in those big sports and the low profile sports.

Banger :

We'll definitely get we need to get mark on that onto our podcast. He's just he's such a good guy. Hey, man, it's been it's been a fantastic chap. Like I mean, this is a story that it's iconic. It's, it's great that what's happening with your podcast? Could you bring it all back? But I I really wanted to get you on with us today because your story's incredible one as well.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, well, thanks. Thanks for having me. And I look forward to playing a game of golf with you rather than watching golf and the podcast. I've absolutely enjoyed it listening to all the athletes stories, I knew little bits about most of them are, like I said, I'm an Olympic junkie, but to actually see Sit with them and extract walk us through that head for that gold medal. Winning performances was just I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and when you listen to the podcast, I encourage you next year when the games are on when you see the athletes compete go and have a listen at the same time you'll know exactly what's gone through the head be awesome,

Banger :

especially those particular ones that you've had on your show. It's Sam some of them I didn't really know who they were, you know, let you know enemies and yeah, you know, Mitch Larkin, but the other guys if that's what I've really enjoyed about it, man, he's hearing from Sports people that I didn't know of before. And that's gonna be great. I'll follow them. I'll be making sure when they go to the Olympics, because I feel like I know them now.

Blakey :

I can play absolutely yeah. And that's what it's all about me. You know, I love sport. You know, and I love the Olympics, I roller and every four years, you know, the heart builds up and you know, and there's always are, I don't know whether it's a hero story. Well, let's call it here. This is why somebody from from the Olympics merges from the Australia Team and does something you know? Yeah, absolutely fantastic.

Nat Cooke :

Yeah, well, real like the real story with Chloe Esposito, the modern pentathlon that we never hear anything about right then all of a sudden, she wins the gold medal. She's got a brother in the same event. And, and those sort of stories come to light. I really, that's the tough part, Waikiki is that, that when the media call they go, I want a high profile athlete. And it's self perpetuating, because you then say, Well, the reason you don't know about these other blogs is because you keep asking for the same people. Everybody has a story, anybody that weighs the current and the Olympic rings on that chair, has busted their butt. And that's full of resilience and grit and determination and struggle and financial struggles, and fading all the odds. And we need to hear more of those. And we need to broadcast a lot of the smallest thoughts. So I'll give you all of them. Go and talk to and love your work boy. broadcasting.

Banger :

Oh, yeah, I know you're busy at that. Thank you so much for your time that what about that blanket? Yeah,

Blakey :

fantastic. Hey, nat, just I'm just closing off just thanks for coming on the show and, and really resonated with me there, you know, you know, just that the little story is still just as important as the big story, you know, and that's what just having a crack soul about as well. And that, you know, we, you know, it's great to be famous, but you don't have to be famous to that to have a story and be important, and really appreciate you coming on the show and, and good luck with everything in the future.

Nat Cooke :

Now, I pledge that my, Brenda, when I was young, he said to me, he gave me a sharpie or a marker and he said, carry this love. So when you get famous and I want your autograph, and I carried that Sharpie my whole life. And then the day someone said, can you sell I've won the bronze medal. I said, Can you saw my hat? I remembered my granddad's woods and it went from there and these guys are just absolutely sensational. So Thank you for having a crack and if I ever had a boat, I'd name my boat Sandy crack.

Banger :

Natalie cook. Oh, well why gold medalist? Thank you.

Blakey :

Thanks, boy, you've been listening to just having a crack. If you enjoyed this podcast, please make sure you jump across to our Facebook page and like our Facebook page and more importantly, like the podcast on your favorite podcast app.

Banger :

That's correct, but I'm getting my head around this because I am a complete Luddite. Yeah, but now to workout subscribe podcast I should people started manually listening to the podcast. When you go to go into the podcast, app, yeah. And then you put in there just having a crack. Yeah, correct. Spell HIV. Yes, having a crack and you hit subscribe. Yep. And they all come up. Yep, we can all of them heckles that.

Blakey :

Yeah. Well, it's great because behind the scenes is a lot of work that goes into Well, you know, our, our podcast. Welcome on fortunate that you bring the towel No, yeah. No no I just cleaned the back end up but you know it's important that you know if you're lucky a series get behind it and support it because we really appreciate the we really appreciate this support and we really appreciate your comments

Banger :

I think some I think at the moment what's been really good fun is that we're getting it just like having a yacht I mean some people assigned to us it's it's like listening to a feed like having a yarn and a chat or and girls now having a chat Leon about life in general, their world their sport, and it's cool. I fun.

Blakey :

Absolutely. So, thanks for listening. Look out for the next one on your favorite podcast app and you've been listening just having a crack.

Banger :

Let's have a crack Transcribed by https://otter.ai