Exclusive Natasha Kai Interview


The Beijing Olympics are just around the corner and all eyes are on the US Women’s National Soccer Team. We had the chance to catch up with U.S. starting forward Natasha Kai of Hawai'i. Here's what she had to say:

Zimbio: Everyone always asks you about your tattoos. What would you rather people ask you about?

Natasha: It’d be cool if people asked me what I like to do in my free time! You get a lot of it on the U.S. National Team.

Zimbio: Tell me about training for the US National Team. What’s your typical week look like?

Natasha: We train about two hours a day, but then we have a lot of meetings too. We watch films sometimes and I do treatments for my old body. Then, there’s time to relax, because getting the body rested is as important as training hard.

Zimbio: You’ve been working with coach Pia Sundhage for a while now. How would you describe her coaching style and what have you personally been working on with her?

Natasha: Pia is an awesome coach. She lets us play and be ourselves on the field. She lets us take risks and lets us know that it’s OK to make mistakes. Personally, I’ve been working on making myself more dangerous in the final third.

Zimbio: Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions? How do you get ready for big match ups?

Natasha: I always take a shower before we leave for the game and I listen to my IPod. Then when we get to the locker room, I always dance with my teammates. I think I’ve gotten everyone to dance before a game.

Zimbio: What’s it like to see yourself in a Nike commercial?

Natasha: It was a little weird but cool at the same time. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was the rebel!

Zimbio: You and your teammates spend a lot of time together. Does anyone have a funny nickname? What’s yours?

Natasha: I have a few nicknames. T.K, Kai, Tash, Tashy, Hawaii, Pineapple, Napple and the list goes on. Some of the girls nicknames are HAO, Tarp, Mittsy, Sobs, Pearcie, Barnie, Boo, Choops, Boxxy, Wags, A-rod. You’ll have to figure out who is who.

Zimbio: OK, aside from soccer, what’s your favorite Olympic sport?

Natasha: I love to watch track and field. It’s just amazing to me that people can be so darn fast and they’re so muscular. It’s amazing.

Zimbio: Thanks Natasha, we’ll be cheering for “Hawaii” in August. Good luck in Beijing.

Photos: Getty Images

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