Natalie Cook OAM was Inducted in The Sport Australia Hall of Fame on Thursday, 9th October 2014 as an Athlete Member for her contribution to the sport of volleyball.
Cook represented Australia in an extraordinary five successive Olympics, winning gold (2000) and bronze (1996) and finishing 4th (2004), 5th (2008) and 19th (2012).
Her partnership with Kerri Pottharst earned Olympic gold in 2000 and silver in 1996 but also netted 92 FIVB tour victories, and help lift beach volleyball to elite sport status in the eyes of the Australian public.
After their 2000 victory the pair went separate ways. Cook teamed with Nicole Sanderson to reach fourth place in the 2004 Athens Olympics and with Tamsyn Hinchley to reach fifth in Beijing (2008) and 12th at the London Olympics (2012).
She continued to shine on the FIVB international circuit taking to final tally to 155 FIVB victories.
She was inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2013 and continues to coach and mentor juniors.
The beginnings: Born January 19, 1975, in Townsville ] She took up indoor volleyball as a teenagerin Brisbane and swiftly made her mark, captaining the Australian Indoor Junior Team in 1992.
In 1993 she began playing beach volleyball. In 1994 she went professional and two years later represented Australia at the Atlanta Olympics.
Among her achievements since quitting competitive volleyball is the development of a program called Surf Volley, run in collaboration with Surf Lifesaving Australia, which is introducing thousands of young Australians to the sport.
Atlanta 1996 Games – Bronze Medal
Brazil 1996 World Championships – Silver Medal
Sydney 2000 Games – Gold Medal
2003 World Championships – Bronze Medal
Athens 2004 Games – 4th place
Beijing 2008 Games – 5th place
London 2012 Games- unplaced
11 National Championship Victories
135 International Events Played
26 Podium Finishes
42 Final-Four Finishes (as at October 2008)
165 International FIVB Events
(most of any female player)