Rupert McCall penned a magnificent poem about Nat’s journey from Bronze to Gold!
In the youthful blaze of chapter one
A Townsville girl befriends the sun
The sun, in turn, ignites the sand
And proud to serve her native land
Australia calls – Atlanta waits
With eyes the size of dinner plates!
A storm explodes! The zone is found!
With Pottharst too – they stand their ground
And in the end, with brave accord
Olympic bronze! A true reward
To make her mark – to shine so bold
To make a vow – next time… it’s gold!
The fairytale of chapter two
Just goes to show – dreams DO come true
But not without a long, hard brief
Not without the self belief
The crowd is pumped, a nest of noise
The Aussie’s answered by the Oi’s!
And everywhere, from reach to reach
Their passion stamped on Bondi Beach
The moment dawns and glory cried
The ball in flight – the ball IS WIDE!
The score! The roar! The gold to share!
And then ‘Advance Australia Fair’
The onward march of chapter three
From Sydney sands across the sea
To Athens – where the flame was born
And plans are tossed and hopes are torn
And bodies bend and muscles strain
To shoulder twice the normal pain
Olympic Gods refuse to smile
The show goes on in gutsy style
With Sanderson, they dig so deep
And though ‘respect’ is theirs to keep
‘Fourth’ just tends to leave a scar
So close! And yet…so very far…
The honest truth of chapter four
Her will is strengthened to the core
The journey turns another page
Beijing sets another stage
A brand new team – with Tamsin now
It’s time to show the young punks how!
The serve is sharp – the set is clean
The block is strong – the smash is mean!
Instincts burn and skills respond
But short on time to truly bond
Fifth’s as far as placings get
It must be over?…not just yet!
The amazing twist of chapter five
The ‘warrior’ is still alive!
Since volleyball was given wings
On beaches with the great ‘five rings’
There’s only one who’s standing, still
The Aussie girl whose passions spill
On broken glass where paths unfold
From sweat and tears to green and gold!
But not to put her dream to bed…
One last vision fills her head
So pack the flag and beat the drum!
Look out London! Here we come…
She came, she saw, she marched as planned
The sun sets now on London sand
When things got tough, from off the floor
The warrior would rise once more!
To fight so hard – to stake her claims
To grace her fifth Olympic Games!
And record books lie torn apart
But what means most lies in her heart
The pride inside that lit her fire
Honour, courage, raw desire
‘Natalie Cook’ – there’s no debate
‘Australian legend – sporting great’
Written by Rupert McCall