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Meet CGKC Member, Oli!

Tiffany Walsh, Marketing & Membership Engagement Manager

Every month we highlight one of our partners, staff or members. Since many people are "in the zone" while working out, we realize members don't  always have time for small talk. Our monthly spotlight is just one way we try to connect our members and fulfill our commitment to community. This month we interviewed City Gym member, Oli Davies. Oli hails from England, but is temporarily in the states to play women's football. We see her hitting it hard every day on the weights (even after riding her bike from Mission) and we really enjoy having her energy in the gym. Oli is an incredibly funny and dynamic woman and we have loved getting to know her a bit better. We think you will, too!

Where are you from:
Twickenham, (South West London) England

Degree/Profession (before KC):
I completed a degree in Sports Science and Education, before joining the London Fire Service. I have been a Firefighter for the last 10 years until taking a sabbatical to come to the US. Now I'm a self-funded full-time athlete!

Why did you come to the US / Why KC:
My main reason for coming to the US was to play football. (American football, not soccer!) I began playing in England, but the game is still quite developmental, so I wanted to come here and learn from the best and improve myself. As well as train like a beast, get crazy fit and see all the US has to offer! I landed in KC after an old friend of mine from rugby put me in touch with Liz Sowers - KC native and one of the best women's football players around. After coming for a tryout here, I knew the Titans were the team for me.

Have you always been an athlete:
I have always done as much sport as possible, throughout school, university and afterwards. I have played high level rugby for 16 years, representing England students for 2 years, Nomads (an international select team) multiple times, and my club Richmond, with whom I have won 3 national titles, most recently in January of this year just before I moved to KC.

How did you become involved in Women's Football:
Football was always a sport I wanted to play, having watched the NFL and US college games for many years, but up until a few years ago, there was little to no opportunity for women to play in England. Then in 2014, I heard about some football taster/development sessions that were being held, so I went along, got involved, and was hooked. From those days, a Great Britain team was formed, and I've been lucky enough to be selected for every game that we've played so far, including the European Championships that were held in Spain last summer.

What do you love most about the sport:
It's hard to say what I love most about football... There is a certain rush you get from playing a physical contact sport that you don't get from anything else. A weird pleasure that you get from all the bumps and bruises and exhaustion after giving your all in a really hard game. The running, avoiding the hits, the tackling, making a really great catch, scoring a touchdown; it all becomes addictive and you want to do it over and over and better and better.

What is your ultimate goal with Women's Football?
Ultimate goal I guess is to be the best that I can be and to play football for as long as I can. Maybe to win the national championship with the Titans this season... Next year is the World Championships, and hopefully I will make the Great Britain team again and bring home a medal. I'd love it if we made the final against the USA and I got to play against Liz, haha! That would be amazing.

Kansas City Titans schedule

What is your training regimen / do you design it yourself:
Aside from football practice 3 or 4 times a week, and an occasional bit of rugby just for fun, I hit the gym a lot! With my sport science background, many years in rugby, and friends who are trainers, I have a lot of experience to draw from and know what works for me so I do design my own regimen. I split lifting weights over 4 days: chest/back, legs, shoulders/arms, rest. I switch up specific exercises, sets and reps now and again to keep things fresh. I run, usually 2 days out of 3, a mixture of 5ks for cardio base and fat burning, and intervals because they are great for the demands of football and I just love the punishment! I also cycle to and from the gym most days which is a pretty good 10 mile workout itself.

Tell me about your diet:
I love food. I believe in eating what I enjoy rather than controlling all the little details or cutting out whatever it is that's supposed to kill you in whatever study is out this month. That said, I don't go nuts for junk food or drink much alcohol, and I try to eat a balanced diet without too much fat or sugar, and cook for myself with fresh ingredients as much as possible. My favourite meals are steak frites, lasagne, and a good old English roast dinner. And I absolutely cannot live without chocolate milk!

What do you listen to when you workout:
Lifting - guitar bands such as Bon jovi, red hot chilli peppers, oasis...
For running - dance music with a good tempo, titanium by David guetta is one of my favourites 

What do you do for fun / hobbies:
Anything outside as long as it's sunny! Going to the beach/surfing... Cooking, hanging out with friends... Listening to live music

So far, what is your favorite part of KC:
Just getting to live my American Dream, working out and playing football all the time, meeting new people and travelling around. Oh and all the barbecue!

What do you miss about home:
People who understand my accent and sense of humour! I guess mostly just friends, and sometimes my job. Being a firefighter is pretty fun most of the time. Plus KC is pretty spread out so I sometimes kind of miss everything being within easy reach.

Favorite KC places:
Plaza.. I love having lunch out and walking by the river. Cycling through mission hills is really pretty. The K... Went to my first Royals game last month. City Gym! And the football field.

What do you love about City Gym:
City gym is just a great gym that meets all of my needs when working out. I love the space, and there's plenty of free weights. Plus I've met tons of new and interesting people, everyone is always really friendly and wants to hear about football and my adventure to KC... As well as swapping gym stories and procrastinating between sets!

Pictured: Oli Davies, Kansas City Titans