9 | From Swimming in High School to Olympic Medalist in Volleyball with Heather BOWN (part 1)

Ep 9 | From Swimming in High School to Olympic Medalist in Volleyball with Heather BOWN (part 1)


I can remember being in the cafeteria in Colorado Springs, Colorado USA.

This is where the Olympic Training Center for many sports is located including men’s & women’s indoor  volleyball.

This was exciting for me because I really didn’t many female players ever after playing four years in Junior and NAIA colleges in America & 3 years professionally in Belgium, German and Czech Republic. Sad day for a single guy.

So while I am eating the guys start to chatter about some girls. I look up and see, like a stampede, a group of about 20+ players and coaches hurdling into the cafeteria for food after training.

I’ve never seen such amazonian and athletically framed women in my life. I WAS DAYDREAMING!.

No! This was reality and after that initial shock settled a few stood out. I asked about a few and amongst them was one of the tallest, a blond woman who was smiling, laughing and chatting and looked to be closer to my age than many of young new college level girls.

It was Heather Bown. My teammates told me how she was one of the best players in NCAA volley and had been playing in Italy, my favorite country, for the past few years. They said she was one of the best players preparing at that time for Beijing.

Yeah, that’s all fine and dandy but what I wanted to know was more like who’s single and is she one of them? Turns out no one knew since I was dealing with some guys a bit younger than my 24 yr old self.

The moment came while on my way to training when I passed Heather who was coming from training and it was time to say our hello’s as fellow comrades let’s say.


She refused to make eye contact and the shy guy in me looked down and away. She was cold! How could this be? Well it happened time and time again until one day we were finally introduced 4 years later. I finally realized why...

Find out why one of America’s sweethearts is not unlike myself is (when I used to be out of my element… ) SHY! Which came be misunderstood as: annoyed, evil, arrogant, self-absorbed, almighty, etc. ;P


Leave a Review & Subscribe to #BeyondAthletic in iTunes so other can find us too! Share this with one person you think could benefit the most...


About Heather Bown

Bown was born in Orange, California and has an older sister.

Played a lot of recreational sports like gymnastics, tennis, diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, etc.

Started swimming in high school & volleyball at 15 as a junior.

Went to college at U of Hawaii & UC Santa Barbara for volleyball.

Was a 2x 1st team D1 All American and WAC Player of the Year in her final years.

Joined the USA indoor national team in 2000 until 2012.

Olympic Silver medalist. 4x Grand Prix champion. 3x Olympian… and on and on…. :)

Currently in Graduate school and helping out Classroom Champions as a mentor.

Find out about her story and more like what her medals have to do with “six fingered cats in the Key West!” by listening now...


Key Discussion Points:

Part 1

  • What drives her?
  • What’s her story?
  • When did she stumble/fail?
  • What lessons she learned?
  • What was her light bulb moment?

Part 2

  • What was a defining moment in her career?
  • What’s her current future plans?
  • What her daily/morning rituals are?
  • What is a personal habit that contributes to her success?
  • The best advice she’s ever gotten?
  • What she likes to do to add value to others?
  • What’s her definition of an athlete being Beyond Athletic?

Key Lessons:

  • Why not accomplishing one goal can lead to new options…

"I was always told I'm not good."

  • Following in your older siblings footsteps for some time can help you grow as a person…
  • Why getting up early contributes to her success…

“I’m in bed by 8 or 9 o’clock at night… whereas in Europe that’s the time they go to dinner”

  • What sports is all about…

"it's not about focusing on winning or losing… You never really lose. You can always learn something..."

  • Learned how to make decisions…

“When you are kid and everything is taken care of for you, you never really think past next weekend"

  • How to overcome personal and team issues…
  • Why losing out on a medal in the Olympics shouldn’t stop her...

“You learn how to play w/ people and trust the person next to you…”

  • The universe has it’s plan for you…

“Man plans. God laughs.”

BOWN's Inspirational QUOTE:

“You win, you learn but you NEVER lose.”


Elite Sport Students is looking for help! We want to change the lives of a million athletes for the better! How can you #AddValue to our cause? :)

Follow Guest here:

Instagram | Twitter | Classroom Champions | Fanpage