United States

Q&A With Kat Sharkey

What is your earliest memory of playing or seeing your sport?

My older sister played field hockey in junior high, and so I remember hitting the ball around in our backyard with her. I started playing the sport because I wanted to be like my big sister. As I got older, I fell in love with the speed and skill level of the game.

How influential were your parents in you athletic career?

My parents were very influential in my career…When I was in junior high and high school, they would drive me each weekend to training sessions that were 3 hours from my house, so that I could reach my goal of playing on the national team. They traveled with me all over the country and world, to see me play and to make sure I had support during my competitions.

What would people be surprised to learn about training for the Olympics?

I think people don't understand that you don't just start training for the Olympics a few months or even one year before. The U.S. field hockey team started training for Rio soon after the London Olympics ended. I remember in the fall of 2013, people would ask me why I was training so intensely when the next Olympics were so far away. It's tough to understand how hard you must train, unless you're directly involved with our team.

When you have time to relax, what are your favorite TV shows?

Homeland, How to Get Away With Murder, Modern Family, Gilmore Girls, Desperate Housewives, The Bachelor

Do you have any hobbies?

I love playing golf with my dad when I have time off from training. My boyfriend recently introduced me to fishing, and I really enjoy doing that. In the past three years, I have become hooked on jig saw puzzles. The most I've done so far has been a 7,000 piece. They're really fun to do while I'm watching TV. My goal is to complete a 30,000 piece puzzle!

Do you have any pets?

I have a soft-coated wheaten terrier named Reagan. He is 13 years old. Reagan is very important to me. I love coming home after a tough training week and just hanging out with my dog.

Do you have a nickname?

Kat, Shark, Shark attack. I have two animals in my name, so my nicknames normally relate to that!

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