Taliqua and I both had high expectations. We were there to win. It's the mindset we went into every game with. We understood we were a new team and we had to be patient but we were ready.
As a new partnership, we went into the first tournament with no limitations. We both had the same goal and were on the same page, it was easy to connect with each other.
After winning the first medal, then the second one and the third, it was so exciting and special.
Before every game, Taliqua and I spoke about how important it was to feel free and go out and play with no thoughts, just feel the game and have the trust in each other and the team.
It helped us stay calm in pressure situations. Sometimes when you are under pressure, you can feel like your mind is going 100 miles per hour.
Because of the trust we had in each other we felt none of that. When you're enjoying it and just having fun, it carries your momentum.
This helped us not feel the extra pressure when we started winning. We just went into each event thinking it was a new event. We didn't place any additional pressures on ourselves and certainly weren't thinking 'if we won the last one, we should win this one’.
We went into each game with the same mentality and the same focus which was to go out there and play our best.
It was such a surreal feeling winning the three gold medals.
It started well before but going to Rio definitely taught me so much.
All those experiences showed me what it really takes to be the best in the world. I had so much motivation to take my game to a new level and to find out how far I can go and what I can achieve.
I was so excited by progress and was motivated to push myself harder. I wanted to see how much further I could go.
However, I didn’t have a good start to the year.
I had to go through a lot on and off the court.
Not getting selected to play in any events and being on the bottom of the list, after being selected for Rio, was really challenging.
My family, my mum and my boyfriend were all by my side and they kept telling me to keep my head up.
I didn’t want any of these challenges to get in the way of my dreams. I said to myself, “I’m not gonna be the last option here”. I wanted to work hard and hope my actions would speak for themselves.
Looking back, I’m grateful of what I had to go through because it’s shaped me into the player and person I am today.
My relationship with Taliqua dates back to 2012 before we went our separate ways.
Five years went past and we’ve found ourselves reunited. We get on really well and have a great relationship. This tour we shared something quite special which has strengthened the bond.
I love playing alongside her, she’s a competitive player. She brings so much to the team and it’s really fun and exciting playing with her.
I think the biggest factors in our recent success is our trust and confidence in ourselves and each other. We are both very competitive and complement each other really well.
We train and do a lot together. Off court relationships translate to on court success. If you connect and get on well off court, then you can dig deep and have each other’s back on court.
I’m sticking to my goals by focusing on one event at a time.
Taliqua and I are aiming to carry the momentum into our next two events, which we are set as a team. We’d love to give ourselves the best chance to continue as a team moving forward. That chance starts now. The next few events - Manly, South Australian and Western Australian Opens.
To play at the Commonwealth and Tokyo games is my big goal, but for now, our aim is to get back on top of the podium. This will hopefully have us selected for the Commonwealth Games.
AUS Beach Volleyball player | Rio2016 Olympian | Australian Champion 2015 & 2016 | U23 World Champion | Peruana/Australiana