While fans begin the countdown for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (190 days) professional athletes are grinding in the trenches. Some, like the USA women’s volleyball team, are doing it far, far away from home.
Take Christa Harmotto-Dietzen, the veteran middle blocker for the team, who wrote an exclusive email to G3 from Turkey. Yes, Turkey!
Earlier this month, the US women’s volleyball team earned their Olympic spot by beating out the Dominican Republic while having home-field advantage in Nebraska. But that celebration didn’t last long. According to Christa:
“Within 24 hours of qualifying all of us were on flights returning to our professional teams spread all over the globe.”
Now, Christa is in the midst of playoffs for the professional club team Fenerbahce of the Turkish League and continues to hone her skills. So is the entire team, albeit scattered all over the world.
“We will continue to work on our own individual skills as we compete with our professional teams and prepare for the Olympics with high-level competition,” she wrote.
Christa did note how ecstatic the team was after the big win on January 9.
“We are thrilled to have qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games and what a blessing to have done it for a home USA crowd in the current volleyball mecca, Lincoln, Nebraska.”
Christa, who will be one of the extraordinary athletes featured in G3, is working hard this winter. Her team earned the top seed going into the playoffs which started January 26. In a recent game, she racked up four kills on seven errorless swings and two blocks for six points.
Way to go and keep up the good work, Christa!
But this is really just the beginning. After the pro club season wraps up she’s back home. And then the fun really begins. “The preliminary roster for the Olympic Games will be determined and we will report sometime between April and May.”
Going for gold? You betcha! They are due: women’s volleyball won silver medals at the 1984, 2008 and 2012 Olympics, as well as bronze in 1992.
We will be definitely be rooting for them all…U-S-A! U-S-A! Let the chanting begin.
To check out Christa’s (some call her Mom) incredible history in life and this sport go here and check out this video for USA Volleyball.
For more information on team USA volleyball, check out their website here.