Nobody has to remind David Lee to stop and smell the roses. The Team USA captain has traveled the world and has a lifetime’s worth of experiences already under his belt. And volleyball has been his avenue for adventure.
Lee turned 34 earlier this year and his Olympic career may be coming to a close after his trip to Rio. But even if this is his last go-round playing on volleyball’s biggest stage, he has lived it up.
Lee — an Alpine, Calif. native — recently spoke to Bryce Miller of the San Diego Union-Tribune about the world travels his life as a professional volleyball has afforded him.
The U.S. middle blocker has eaten live bugs, gone hang-gliding off a cliff and ridden donkeys up to the Tibetan Plateau.
All thanks to volleyball.
The 6-foot-8 Lee has played professionally in Greece, Puerto Rico, Turkey, China and Russia and was on Team USA at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
He and teammate Reid Priddy helped lead the ’08 team to gold and the two are back at it in Rio in an attempt to bring home gold again.
“I never could have imagined it would turn into wha it has,” Lee told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I’ve gone through three passports already. It’s really become a passion for me, sparked something in me.
“I like to travel the world, to meet new people and experience new cultures. Volleyball’s done that for me.”
He’s also already seen Rio in a different light than most of the other Olympians:
The perks of being an Olympian.