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Sometimes Rejection is Exactly What You Need: German Defender Nike Lorenz Shares Her Story

“You’re not talented at all.”

A phrase German national team defender Nike Lorenz says defined her career and set her on the path to where she is now — Olympic medalist, University of Maryland alum, and one of Germany’s most promising young stars.

Lorenz started playing hockey at the age of 3, but she hit a point in secondary school where she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go to the next level.

“I never thought about quitting hockey,” she says. “But I was like ‘I just want to play with my friends.’”

But all her doubts came into focus after a tough performance in a major U16 tournament. After receiving some difficult feedback, Lorenz was even more sure about what she wanted — and how hard she was willing to work to get it.

Now, after a stint at University of Maryland in the States, Lorenz is back on her home turf playing for Rot Weiss Koln and representing Germany in the FIH Pro League.

Here’s a closer look at how — in the face of rejection — Lorenz rediscovered her passion for the game:

Fun fact about Lorenz: In 2017, she decided to go vegan! Read about her decision to commit to a plant-based diet and how it’s impacted her performance on the pitch here — plus, five tips if you’re thinking about going vegan or changing your diet.