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Today we have a special guest who is on her way to the Olympics in Rio. Nathalie Marchino is a Women’s National Rugby player on an Olympic bound Rugby team. She also competed in the 2014 and 2015 World Cup. She is an Athlete Representative to the US Rugby Congress which helps plan and grow rugby domestically. Before her rugby career, she competed in women’s basketball. Besides her athletic accomplishments, she is a Sales Account Manager at Twitter. Prior to that she was an Account Manager at Google and a Customer Development Account Manager at Nestle before that.

Nathalie was born in Columbia and grew up in Switzerland. She loved playing sports and started basketball when she was 14 years old. She went to Siena College on a basketball scholarship. She wasn’t interested in Rugby, but a couple of new friends grabbed her and took her to a Rugby practice. After the tackling, she was hooked and became a rugby player.

Today’s topics include:

  • People are excited about Rugby being back in the Olympics and the games are sold out
  • Nathalie has been in three World Cups
  • Rugby is played with 15 people per side, the transition from 15 people to 7 people is brutal
  • With Rugby, you may play 2-3 games per day
  • There is a big hype about sevens rugby being in the Rio Olympics
  • Nathalie is not playing for the US Eagles, she applied for US citizenship this year, and couldn’t play for the US
  • She is going to play for Columbia because of the passport rules and red tape, so now she is playing for Columbia
  • Traditional rugby with 15 per side hasn’t been in the Olympics in 92 years
  • This year rugby is back and they play 7 per team
  • Australia is the women’s rugby team to beat this year
  • Rugby sevens started in 1883 in Scotland, as a charity raising event
  • They trained in Chula Vista in beautifully manicured facilities
  • In Columbia the facilities are more by the bootstraps
  • The Columbia women’s team beat Argentina in a dramatic fashion
  • They kicked a 22 dropout recovered the ball and scored
  • That one play enabled her Olympic journey, you can see it on her facebook page
  • The Columbia team barely qualified, and they are creative in making things work
  • They practice on a turf field that is super hard
  • Nathalie thinks getting out of her comfort zone and making things work has been great
  • The Columbia team just deals with things and makes due, for instance the weight room is currently being remodeled
  • Nathalie is looking forward to the opening ceremony, as a kid she aspired to be an Olympian
  • A typical training week
    • Weight Training 7:00 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
    • Breakfast 10:30 – 12:30
    • Some of the Colombian athletes are still in school or working
    • So they have to condense the training in a short period of time
    • Training in the US is full day affair
    • In Columbia everything is packed into the morning
  • Nathalie is probably going to stick around and take some time to travel after her competition
  • She would love to continue playing, but she has had a few concussions that she is concerned about
  • Have fun in everything you do, and watch rugby!

Links and resources:

USA Rugby
LinkedIn Nathalie Marchino
Training like it’s her job: Meet the Olympic rugby player from Twitter
Twitter @SwissBeatz


“Sevens is so exciting because anything can happen in a short amount of time” Nathalie Marchino

“It has everything US spectators love, it’s brutal, super physical, and contact at high speed” Nathalie Marchino

“Theer is an incredible amount of athleticism in rugby, and it is going to take off in the US” Nathalie Marchino

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