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19/01/1975 -

Natalie Cook OAM was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2014 as an Athlete Member for her contribution to the sport of volleyball.

Cook represented Australia in an extraordinary five successive Olympics, where she won 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 teenager in 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.

Cook has supported the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program by being a Mentor to diver Georgia Sheehan (2016) and hockey player Claire Colwill (2023).

The scorecard

  • 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games – Bronze
  • 1996 World Championships in Brazil – Silver
  • 2000 Sydney Olympic Games – Gold
  • 2003 World Championships – Bronze
  • 2004 Athens Olympic Games – 4th overall
  • 2008 Beijing Olympic Games – 5th overall
  • 2012 London Olympic Games – unplaced
  • 11 x National Champion
  • 135 International Events Contested
  • 26 Podium Finishes
  • 42 top four finishes (as at October 2008)
  • 165 International FIVB Events Contested (most of any female player)

Honors and Achievements

  • 2001: Awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
  • 2013: Inducted into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame


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