Destinee Hooker: US Olympic Volleyball Star Could Medal in 3 Sports at Rio 2016

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Destinee Hooker: US Olympic Volleyball Star Could Medal in 3 Sports at Rio 2016
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY
Hooker's enthusiasm would be perfect in beach volleyball.

The training regimens and practice sessions for Olympic athletes is, quite simply, gruesome...and that is preparing for just one event. But what about training for events in three different sports?

U.S. star Destinee Hooker is one athlete that could consider doing just that at the 2016 Rio Games.

The attempt would require some creative scheduling during training and especially during the Games.

But the Olympics crave special interest angles. How excited would Bob Costas and NBC be to cover an athlete competing in three different events?

Nike and Visa could create an entire ad campaign around cross-training and having options in life.

Hooker's first event is indoor volleyball. She's led her team to the gold-medal match in London and will look to do the same in Rio.

The second sport is a rather obvious step outside to join the ranks of beach volleyball. The retirement of Misty May-Treanor is leaving a void in the woman's sport that Hooker could attempt to fill.

Joining Kerry Walsh Jennings, who plans to play in Rio, is an intriguing idea, but the two hitters might be challenged sharing ground on the sand. But the three-time Olympic champion would be remiss if she didn't at least entertain the idea and spend some time with Hooker on the beach.

Rounding out the trifecta requires a bit of a jump, but one that is worth considering.

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Hooker was a four-time NCAA National Champion high jumper at the University of Texas.

She showed the ability to train for both volleyball and track at Texas, and almost made the U.S. team for high jump in 2008. She was tied for fifth, clearing 6 feet, two and one-quarter inches.

The qualifying height was just one inch higher.

Granted, 6'3" isn't competitive on a national level. It took a jump of 6'4" just to qualify for the finals in 2012.

But Hooker was just 20 years old when she competed at the Olympic trials and was still improving. In 2009 she cleared 6'6" at the NCAA Indoor Championship, setting a collegiate record.

She has the athletic ability to resume training and become a world-class jumper.

Imagine the conundrum Usain Bolt and decathletes would be in if someone medaled in three different sports at the Olympics. The whole balance of what makes the greatest athlete would be flipped on its side.

 

The idea of competing in both indoor and beach volleyball is perhaps a little extreme, but it is bound to happen at some point. All it takes is an athlete with the cache to push organizers to accommodate the schedule.

Hooker has the pull, particularly if she was paired with Walsh.

Adding in a track and field event makes the trifecta idea even more nuts, but considering the events they throw together for the pentathlon, why not? 

I wonder how fast Hooker could run the 100-meter dash...

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