Natasha Kai enjoys family time before heading to Olympics

Natasha Kai
Natasha Kai
Benny Kai
Benny Kai

By Jason Tang - bio | email

KAHUKU (KHNL) - U.S. Olympian Natasha Kai took a quick break with family and friends to rejuvenate her body and spirit, before heading to Beijing with the soccer team.

She's known for scoring goals on the field, but just as important -- the goals she scores at home.

"My family means a lot to me," said Kai, the former Kahuku and University of Hawaii star. "I love being around my family and friends and just being around them makes me happy, and I love coming home and spending free time with them."

Kai had a few free days in her busy schedule, and she knew exactly what to do.

"I was gonna go to the beach, but it was raining, all three days I was home," she said. "So I just hung out with my friends, and just laid low. Hung out with my family, stayed here and enjoyed every second I had home."

It's the first time she's been home since May. However, her family is always with her in spirit -- she has every one of their names tattooed on her arm. But it doesn't beat sitting next to them at home.

"When she first was away, she was so homesick for her family, she wouldn't eat right," said her father Benny Kai. "I remember one day, I had to talk to her on the phone, and I said just play soccer, because you have a gift. We'll always be okay here."

"I'm just proud to come from Kahuku, North Shore, and hopefully represent it well," said Natasha. "The community's a big support, for not only me, but every person that comes out of Kahuku, and it's like a big family here, and it's awesome."

Natasha is set to leave Honolulu Monday night, heading for California. She'll meet with the rest of the team there, and together they'll travel to Beijing with their arrival set for Thursday.