Updated: Feb 9, 2021
Lauren Gibbemeyer graduated from the University of Minnesota where she majored in kinesiology and played on a full four-year scholarship for the Minnesota Gopher volleyball program. Post-college, she was asked to fly out to Anaheim, California where she has been a member of the USA women’s national team since 2011. Gibbemeyer continued her professional volleyball career overseas where she has had the opportunity to play in several countries including Japan, Italy, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. This year is her ninth professional season where she currently plays for one of the top clubs in the world called Eczacibasi VitrA based in Istanbul, Turkey.
Volleyball is a very team-oriented sport. What do you bring to a team that makes you unique?
I believe that I have the ability to impact my team with my energy and work ethic. I have always embraced the idea of leading by example and I feel like I’m not doing my job if I’m not the hardest working person on the court.
Has there been a time in your career where you doubted yourself? What did you do and what can female athletes do when this happens?
There has definitely been times where I have doubted myself and my abilities. I have found this to happen especially when I start to compare myself with other players instead of focusing on my own successes and growth.
I believe that once we stop focusing on what we don’t have and stop comparing ourselves with other people, we will be more confident and happy with who we are in the moment.
Practicing daily gratitude helps me immensely as it reminds me of all of the wonderful things I do indeed have in my life.
What female athlete do you look up to and why?
Honestly, I look up to any female athlete who has become a mother and continued to follow her passions whether that involved her sport or something else. The name that immediately comes to mind is Foluke Akinradewo who just gave birth in November and is fighting for a spot in her third Olympics this coming July. Women are truly amazing and can do it all!
Have you ever been judged on your appearance rather than your ability?
I was definitely placed in volleyball originally based on my body type. I think there is a stereotype for volleyball players as being tall and thin. Being the tallest player on my teams, I was immediately placed in the middle position and didn’t really get a chance to practice any other position growing up. Good volleyball players come in all shapes and sizes. In my opinion there can be to be more open-mindedness when it comes to filtering our youth into specific sports in order to create more well rounded athletes.
What does "set standards" mean to you when it comes to women equality in sports?
When it comes to women equality in sports, “set standards” means not accepting things like salary discrepancies between men and women, being fair and coming up with a better solution for maternity leave, and accurate media representation. We need to take a good hard look at all of these topics and come up with standards in which women in sports are treated and viewed in the way that we deserve.