Katherine (KARA) Zakrzewski

Name: Katherine (KARA) Zakrzewskizakrzewski_kara
Sport: Beach Volleyball
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
Nickname: Kara (pronounced: Kuh-duh)

Favorite Sports Memory:
Currently, my favourite sports memory happened this year in Guatemala City, when my partner Julie Rodrigue and I won gold, narrowly beating a top ranked Cuban team in the finals. My first international volleyball experience was in Cuba, where I saw the insane training protocols and outstanding athleticism of all the Cuban volleyball athletes. I was in absolute awe of their talent. To beat a team from a country so well-known for volleyball was an amazing accomplishment, beating them after being down 12-10 in the 3rd game to 15 points was unbelievable. We were able to get 6 points before they got 2. The whole crowd was cheering for us, even though I’m sure they didn’t believe we’re going to win.

Favorite Quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
– Marianne Williamson

CAN Fund Testimonial:
I remember getting the call, and Conrad of the CAN Fund asking me if my partner and I were planning on continuing to play internationally. I explained that it was our intent to play in the upcoming European World Tour tournaments, so long as our budget allowed it. The reality at that moment was that we need about $3,000 each to make the trip, not including the money we needed for rent and other living expenses. That’s when Conrad broke the news that my partner and I had both been awarded a CAN Fund bursary. Right when we needed it the most to continue towards our Olympic Dream, CAN Fund was there, shining light on a dimming path. Thank you so much for believing in my team and pushing us one huge step closer to our Olympic Dream. The CAN Fund will allow me to focus more on training by giving me the piece of mind that my personal expenses and upcoming travel will be covered.

Best Result:
Norceca Gold Medal in Guatemala (2010)
Norceca Bronze Medal in Puerto Rico (2010)
Canadian National Silver Medal (2009)
Canadian National Gold Medal (2006)

Fun Facts:
I have a secret love of organizing anything and everything. I love the TV show Modern Family. When I was young and a huge soccer player, I thought I had a hidden talent of heading the ball in the net; I later realized when I switched to volleyball that my head was simply a ball magnet – ouch! I LOVE food, but am extremely picky at the same time – I say I have a gourmet pallet 😉 My favourite movie is Disney Pixar’s ‘UP’ and I sleep with a stuffed animal version of ‘Dug’ from the movie – Dug travels with me all over the world. My favourite sport to watch besides beach volleyball is tennis – I want to be a tennis star! My biggest goal in life is to do my best to live in and thoroughly enjoy the present moment.

Website: www.juliepluskara.com