It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for our volleyball team who was treated to a visit in late September by former National NCAA Division I champion and two-time USA Olympic Volleyball athlete and medalist, Courtney Thompson.
Courtney, as a Co-Founder of the nonprofit Give It Back Foundation, has always understood the concept of team. Named team captain of the University of Washington women's volleyball team as a freshman, Courtney held this title throughout her 4-year career, while also leading the Huskies to an NCAA Division I National Championship in 2005. Post college, Thompson proudly represented USA Volleyball, winning a gold medal at the World Championships in Italy (2014), an Olympic silver medal in London (2012), and an Olympic bronze medal in Rio (2016), serving as team captain from 2013-2016. Having worked with Dr. Gervais while competing on the USA team, she has lived through the process of changing a culture and understands how and why it starts with each individual's mindset. She brings this experience, as well as her drive to make those around her better, to her work with Compete to Create.
Courtney spent an hour with the volleyball team, talking to them about her personal experience with high school, college, and Olympic athletic competition, sharing with us some of the difficulties and roadblocks she faced as she worked toward her Olympic dream, focusing on encouraging our players to follow their dreams in all areas of their life despite inevitable setbacks and obstacles, urging them to always use positive self-talk and maintain a positive mindset to work their way through adversity. It was a very interesting and motivating conversation for all.
The team was treated to being able to not only see but to hold and wear Courtney's Olympic silver and bronze medals! It was an afternoon that none of them will soon forget. Thanks to Sarah Lehman for offering this opportunity to the team.