Minerva wings

Natalie Cook OAM OLY

Nat has become the first Australian woman to compete at five Olympic Games: 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games. Few athletes can boast of even coming close to this incredible achievement.

As a youngster, Nat was a gifted athlete and fierce competitor. She didn’t just show promise with her athletic ability or in her sporting endeavours. She was also very bright academically. She spent her secondary school years juggling her studies with training and competing as an athlete. Nat captained the Australian Junior Indoor Volleyball team the same year she completed her secondary education.

Her fierce determination and capacity for self-discipline saw her awarded Corinda State High School’s most illustrious prize in 1992: Dux of the school. She also capped it off by winning the Caltex All-Rounder Award that year too. She gained admission to the highly prestigious and sought-after Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree at the University of Queensland.

By the time Nat started university, she had transitioned across to the more physically demanding sport of beach volleyball. It was the perfect collision of two of her favourite things: the beach culture and the sport that she lived and breathed.

Nat and her fellow beach volleyball partner, Kerri Pottharst, were selected to represent Australia at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. With the culmination of many years of sacrifice and dedication, as well as overcoming injuries, fatigue and incredible odds, Nat and Kerri won a Bronze medal at their very first Olympic Games.

Shortly after the 2000 Olympics, Pottharst retired from the sport. But Nat went on to compete in another 3 Olympic Games (one with partner, Nicole Sanderson, and two with Tamsin Hinchley) before retiring after the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Since retiring, Nat has written a book, become a proud mum and wife, and an international award-winning wellness coach.

She was part of the successful team who lobbied to get Beach Volleyball into the 2018 Commonwealth Games for the first time ever, and is currently lobbying for the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane, Queensland.

Today, Nat is one of the world’s most sought after inspirational speakers, and is passionate with helping others all around the world as a health and wellness coach.

Back to team page