About Volleyball Canada

September 12, 2012

A Word From Former National Team Athlete, Tonya Mokelki

Recently, following the 2012 Women's NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament for London 2012, senior women's national team member, Tonya Mokelki retired from Team Canada.  Here are her thoughts after a few months of life without volleyball. 

You know how that saying goes "You don't know what you had until it's gone", well this I think is what retiring from Team Canada has been like. While you're there in the mix of things that's all you know, it's your life, your identity. You even kind of come to take it for granted because it's so "normal" for you. At first retiring just felt like I was on one of our regular breaks. When try-outs were starting it definitely felt weird knowing I wasn't there but when it really hit home was when the team was away competing. I don't regret my decison of retiring, I think it was the right time for me to do it, but i definitely miss the training, the entire staff, and of course my team mates. The girls were basically my closest friends for 6 years of my life. They were always there, a constant support system.   
      Those of you that know me well know that I am a very competitve person, so of course I had to find something else to do. I decided to start playing roller derby. I am practicing with a team in Weyburn and learning how to roller skate. Let me tell you after being in court shoes for 15 years, this is a completely different experience. It is nice though starting at ground zero again with something and challenging myself to get better and attempt to excel at a different sport. I was NSOing a game just this past weekend and like most sporting events, they played O'Canada. I thought I was about to cry! That was the first time I had been in a gym with the national anthem playing, and I was not in a Team Canada uniform.
      Playing for Team Canada was amazing and I feel so priviledged to have had the opportunity to represent my country. It truely is an honor like no other. It's kind of funny, I am currently working at a bank right now and one of my co-workers the other day stopped me and said "I didn't know all that stuff about you, you're basically the most famous person I know!" It's funny how other people's comments make you put things in perspective and appreciate even more what you had. I could go on forever talking about everything that Team Canda has done for me and how much I loved it but I think it's those little things that mean the most. The crying over the national anthym, the little heartfelt comments, and of course the competitve drive that all of us athletes will carry with us the rest of our lives. 



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