Kerri Pottharst (right) and Natalie Cook
|Competitor for Australia|
|Gold||Sydney 2000||Beach Volleyball|
|Bronze||Atlanta 1996||Beach Volleyball|
Pottharst was born in Adelaide, South Australia and currently resides in Sydney. In addition to her volleyball commitments, Pottharst is the face of "beach2xl", a corporate team building program, and does motivational speaking.
Pottharst began playing indoor volleyball in 1982 and by 1990 was recognised as one of the best volleyball players in Australia. A serious knee injury in 1992 forced her off the hard court and she began playing beach volleyball.
She partnered with Natalie Cook, and together, they represented Australia at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, winning a bronze medal - the very first time that beach volleyball had been an Olympic sport. In the same year, the pair won a silver medal at the world championships, and came first in the World Tour Event in Japan.
Cook and Pottharst split for a few years afterwards, but reunited in time for the Sydney Olympics. Before the games, they finished third in the World Tour Events in France and Portugal. At the games themselves, the pair dominated the competition, taking out the gold medal. In the aftermath of their Olympic win, the pair were awarded the Order of Australia, Australia's highest honor. Cook and Pottharst were included in the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball's Team of the Decade.
After the Olympics, Pottharst retired, but has since come out of retirement and returned to competition. According to Worldwide beach volleyball statistics, Pottharst has never been outside of the top 10 and rarely outside of the top six in International Beach Volleyball events since 1994.
Pottharst appeared on the Nine Network's TV reality show 'Celebrity Circus' in 2005, in which she trained with stars of Australia's Silvers Circus.
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