Kerri Pottharst began playing indoor volleyball in 1982 and by 1990 was recognised as one of the best volleyball players in Australia. A serious knee injury in 1992 forced her off the hard court and she began playing beach volleyball.
She partnered with Natalie Cook, and together, they represented Australia at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, winning a bronze medal - the very first time that beach volleyball had been an Olympic sport. In the same year, the pair won a silver medal at the world championships, and came first in the World Tour Event in Japan.
Cook and Pottharst split for a few years afterwards, but reunited in time for the Sydney Olympics. Before the games, they finished third in the World Tour Events in France and Portugal. At the games themselves, the pair dominated the competition, taking out the gold medal.