Ex-Olympian Ci Michel reveals past desire to play in PVL

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Ex-Olympian Ci Michel reveals past desire to play in PVL
Ci Michel.
Spike and Serve Philippines Inc.

MANILA, Philippines – Former Great Britain Olympian Ci Michel said that she wanted to play in the Philippines after seeing the country’s love for volleyball as she stayed in the country for the 2024 Volleyball Nations League Week 3.

Michel, who was part of Great Britain’s team in the 2012 Summer Olympics, fawned about the Philippines’ volleyball community that would’ve made a perfect environment for her during her professional years.

“If I could go back in time a little bit, I think I would’ve tried to play professionally here at some point in my career because there is so much love for volleyball here. And it would be amazing to play for a team here,” Michel said.

The 6-foot-5 middle blocker had not played in four years, with her last stint being in 2020. Now that she’s on the other side of the sport, the British-American has learned to appreciate a lot of things more compared to when she was a player.

“There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes, that as a player, you just have no idea. You show up and you just do your job, you play volleyball, you put your knee pads on, and your shoes on, and you just play volleyball,” said Michel. 

“But being now on the other side of it is fascinating because I get to see people like you and how much work goes into it. All of the people that are making this happen, it’s mind blowing how much work goes into it,” she added.

Michel continued her passion for volleyball, but this time as a content creator and commentator. Seeing how the sport has grown globally, especially in the Philippines, was heartwarming for the 38-year-old.

“It’s great to see. Any time that volleyball is growing, especially in a country like this where there’s so much love and passion for it, it’s great to see that it’s getting the exposure that it deserves,” said Michel. 

“Because obviously, as a volleyball player, my favorite thing to do is play volleyball and talk about volleyball so I’m just glad that other people enjoy it as well.”

As the country’s volleyball community continues to grow, as evidenced by the growing audiences in the VNL, Michel was particularly happy to be in the Philippines.

“I love going anywhere where people love volleyball so just spending time around people that love volleyball, there’s like an energy here, you know what I mean? So really, I’ve enjoyed it a lot… Enjoying it a lot.”

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