LONDON (Reuters) - American Danielle Scott-Arruda has experienced almost everything in a long career in women’s volleyball but she will never grow tired of the Olympics.
The 39-year-old did not get a minute’s action as the U.S. began their Pool B matches with a hard-fought win against South Korea at Earls Court on Saturday but she is sure to play a role over the next two weeks in her fifth Olympics.
This time she has the added motivation of having her 26-month-old daughter Julianne watching from the stands.
“Every Olympics is special in its own way, there are different challenges in terms of making the team,” she told reporters after the U.S. posted a 3-1 victory.
”This time it’s even better because my daughter is here.
“She fell asleep though up there with all this noise, I don’t know how,” added the Brazil-based middle blocker.
After having a baby, and with four Olympics starting from Atlanta in 1996 behind her, Scott-Arruda could have been excused for calling it a day.
However, she hopes her daughter will remember mum featuring in the Olympic Games.
“I wanted to play again and I wanted to be part of the London team,” added Scott-Arruda who is only the third female volleyball player to go to five Olympics.
“She motivated me because I wanted her to be here and see mommy do something great and be part of something special. She may not remember it but she’ll be able to say I was there.”
Helping the U.S. to a long-awaited gold in women’s volleyball in London would be the ultimate thrill, according to Scott-Arruda, who said she loved the fact that the journey to Earls Court went past Buckingham Palace.
”It’s a great crowd here and they really appreciated it tonight,“ she said. ”We get to do a bit of sightseeing on the way which is really cool. I‘m loving it.
“We are here for gold though, we’ve never done it before but that’s what we strive for.”
So what about another Olympic adventure in Rio de Janeiro?
“Ha, I’d love to do that,” said the keen LA Lakers fan. “But one year at a time for now.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman