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Courtney Thompson Interview

We interviewed America's top setter, Courtney Thompson. Here, she answers tough and fun questions about life on and off the volleyball "court"!

Team name and city you are in?

I play for Rexona-Ades and live in Rio de Janiero!

Best volleyball moment of your career?

I've been fortunate to have so many cool ones... Winning the National Title at the University of Washington in 2005 and winning the World Championship in 2014 come to mind first... obviously it's fun to win and have all your hard work pay off in that way, but more importantly was HOW those two teams competed to be their best everyday and how the team came before any individual. When you go through so much with your teammates and have it come to fruition in a moment like that... it's pretty special. Full of the good stuff. Walking into opening ceremonies at the Olympics is a moment I will never forget either. It was completely surreal and I'm just so thankful and humbled I got to experience being a part of the Olympic Games.

One thing you miss from home when your overseas?

I miss easy parking, good brunch spots, and whole foods. A lot.

When you have a day off from practice what do you do?

I usually try to be outside as much as possible. When we're training a lot we're in the gym for the majority of each day, so it usually is the most re-charging and energizing to get outside and do something active. When I lived in Switzerland I always went up to the mountains, and here in Brazil it's usually a day at the beach with some swimming, and maybe a little beach tennis for fun.

Favorite part of the country you are in?

Brazil is great for so many reasons... the people have an awesome energy about them which makes it a fun place to live and work. The food is delicious, there's fresh coconut water served on every corner and the beach is so close... it's tough to beat!

Favorite Athlete?

I love sports... pretty much all of them and spend a lot of time listening and trying to learn from other athletes. I'm not sure I could pick just one, but my favorite sport to watch is football for sure. I enjoy watching every team play but always cheer for the Seahawks of course.

If you could go on vacation do you choose beach or mountains?

I would definitely choose the mountains. My ideal spot would be on a lake in the mountains... to me it just feels like home and it's my happy place.

One book you recommend?

For an athlete of any age I'd recommend The Way of a Champion by Jerry Lynch. It's a great book with very tangible takeaways and probably the most influential book I've read as far as sports books go. It changed how I view competition and helped me understand in a different way where is most beneficial to put my energy while competing.

Best halloween costume you've worn?

I was a potato head a few years ago and that seemed to be a crowd favorite. Very interactive...

Advice you would give young players?

Fall in love with the process of learning, and put your energy into becoming the best version of you. Fail a lot and embrace it. Have more fun than anybody and help those around you have fun.

Dream job after volleyball?

I'm not sure yet! Something like working to grow the Give It Back Foundation while getting paid to test outdoor gear from REI? That sounds like a fun combo!

Favorite thing to eat where you are now?

Ooh... rice and beans for sure! They're amazing here, and super cheap, and you can get them everywhere. That and papaya... those have been staples in my diet from day one here!

Favorite part about being on team USA?

Wow... there's a lot to choose from. Being able to represent your country in a sport that you love, and to compete at the highest level in the world is incredible. Even after 9 years on the National Team I have a hard time wrapping my head around that I am so fortunate as to get to be a part of this team. And to go through all the adversity- and the mental, physical, and emotional challenges that we go through competing at this level is such a gift... the only way to truly learn is to get tested and we do that every day in this profession. I've learned so much going through those inevitable ups and downs and to get to go through them with some of your best friends who are fighting the same fight is really special.


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