Q&A With Christian vanBlommestein

Sept. 10, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

Christian vanBlommestein, a senior defender and team co-captain on the men's soccer team, enters this weekend's Diadora Classic at Lorenz Field having started every game in which he has played - 57 of a possible 61 over the course of his career at OSU. He recorded his first career goal in a 3-0 win over Sacramento State on Sept. 5. The following is a question-and-answer with vanBlommestein following a recent practice.

YOUR FAMILY HAS AN ATHLETIC BACKGROUND - TALK ABOUT THAT A BIT.'I have a twin sister (Haley) who has been playing at Arizona State the last four years. I have an older sister, Auna, and she played soccer at Washington for two years and then played two years at Western Washington. My mom is the cheerleader, she's the one who gave us the support. My dad (who played soccer and baseball in South Africa) is the one that started us early and got us into it. I owe a lot of my success to him.'

WHAT HAS HE PASSED ON TO YOU?'He taught me how to work hard and to be mentally tough and to get past the adversity that comes in a game. He's pushed me and worked me hard; at times it sucked, but in the long run, it's helped me and developed me into who I am now.'

YOU'VE BEEN A TEAM CO-CAPTAIN FOR THREE YEARS AND A STARTER SINCE YOU'VE BEEN HERE. HOW HAS YOUR ROLE CHANGED, IF AT ALL?'At first, being a captain as a sophomore was kind of awkward, telling a senior what to do. But, the last two years I've stepped into it and felt more comfortable. It's kind of happened on its own - the team placed me in that position, and I just try and do the best I can.'

TALK ABOUT YOUR GOALS AS A TEAM THIS YEAR.'Our goal is to take one game at a time. We can't look past the next game. We did that in San Diego a little bit, and they punished us for it. We came back and fought hard and got a result against San Diego. So now, we're looking at Gonzaga and going one game at a time. We've got to bring a blue-collar attitude; we have to bring it everyday. We've had a great week of training and we're a hard-working team.'

WHAT'S BEEN YOUR MOST ENJOYABLE ASPECT OF YOUR TIME HERE AT OSU?'The guys on the team. Even more than the soccer, it's the relationships I've developed here with the guys - they're awesome, and I'll have those relationships for the rest of my life. I appreciate that so much. The soccer is great, too. We've got a great coaching staff and they make it a wonderful atmosphere for us. We travel to the greatest places and stay in the greatest places - it's just a wonderful atmosphere. A lot (of credit) goes to them. We've got a great training staff also, and the newcomers are awesome. It's just great all-around.'

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