Retired? Not this Olympic Gold Medallist.
By Dave Keogh - December 2008
Kerri Pottharst is Australia's most decorated Indoor and Beach Volleyball player, having represented her country for an incredible 22 years! Kerri retired from international competition after representing Australia in beach volleyball at her third consecutive Olympic Games – Athens 2004. That was after securing a Bronze Medal in Atlanta with partner Natalie Cook in 1996 and winning that unforgettable Gold in Sydney in 2000.
She continued to compete on the Australian circuit – even after giving birth to her beautiful son Tyson in July 2006 – until “a dodgy knee” just made the daily training impossible. (Kerri has had no less than six separate surgical procedures on her knees!)
I recently asked Kerri how she’s enjoying ‘the quiet post-tournament life’ playing mum to her toddler son. First she laughed… then she proceeded to describe her ‘quiet life’:
“I’m doing just a few things to keep me busy. I regularly give motivational speeches to major companies, illustrating to management just how the processes involved in achieving corporate goals are very similar to those that elite athletes put in place to achieve their ambitions."
"I reinforce the value of teamwork; show them what’s possible when you’re taken out of your comfort zone; and challenge them to find solutions based on their own individual capabilities." I love this work and from the feedback I receive, it seems I’ve managed to make a difference to many people in a lot of companies. I try to provide a very Australian experience, filled with energy and enthusiasm...in the end my aim is to convince people that if they don’t set goals in life, they’ll never change anything."
She also has two books in the pipeline – her biography (which has been a long time coming) and another “surprise.” And, on top of all that, she has worked with the Australian National Beach Volleyball Tour’s major sponsor – Crocs – as a consultant for the beach volleyball season.
So...full-time mum, regular motivational speaker, soon to be author and sports management consultant...how does Kerri find the time?
“Oh wait on… I’ll also just finished coaching a U.S. beach volleyball team on the World Tour this year! I accompanied them on the World Tour for 4 months during 2008. While Tyson is still so young, it’s the ideal time to take him with me...and my husband Max runs his own business, which he can do from almost anywhere in the world. So before Tyson hits school age we’ll be travelling a fair bit...Tyson’s certainly going to end up with a lot of stamps in his passport before his 5th birthday.
We believe it will teach him to adapt to different environments and we’re sure that will prove to be part of a wonderful ‘early education’.”
Kerri Pottharst retired? I don’t think so.