O’Gorman even stronger after journey of self-discovery
VANCOUVER, Canada, November 11, 2020 – In his own words, Grant
O’Gorman thought he was “a superhero and invincible”.
At the age of 26, the Canadian was playing around the planet on
the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and it seemed nothing could
That, however, changed last year.
The first signs something wasn’t quite right came during the
summer of 2019 at a time when Grant was playing some of the the
most important tournaments of his career, including the Beach
Volleyball World Championships in Germany. A few months later,
he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
In the blink of an eye, Grant went from being an extremely
healthy professional athlete to someone dealing with a serious
“I felt if something was not hurting my performance on the court
it did not matter,” he explained. “I've learned that you must
know your body well and if anything even seems a little off you
should go see a doctor.”
Fortunately, after surgery signs are that his future will be
exactly the way he had imagined it would be before the illness.
The procedure was successful and there are no indications that
the cancer has spread.
Grant and his fiancé Isabela have partnered up with Movember, an
organization that helps spread awareness for men's health, to
strengthen their message. And you can listen to their full story
in the video below.
With the Tokyo Olympics postponed to the summer of 2021 and the
qualification period extended accordingly, odds are Grant
O'Gorman and partner Ben Saxton will remain in contention.
The team has won gold and silver medals in World Tour 3-star
events in Sydney and Edmonton since they joined forces in 2018
and returned to action at the King of the Court 2020 tournament
in Utrecht, Netherlands in September.
“The pandemic is awful and such a weird and difficult time for
everyone, but I personally feel incredibly fortunate to not have
to miss out on part of my volleyball dream. The number of
tournaments next year will determine if we have a chance at the
top 15 and our backup plan is the Continental Cup. The
qualification would mean a lot, but we also want to go very deep
into the tournament. Ben and I have both been through some tough
things in these past years, so no matter the result, I am proud
of what this team has overcome and thankful for all the great
times we have had so far.”
Their journey will be documented on the YouTube
and Isabela have created.
“National team coach Steve Anderson was telling me that social
media has the power to spread whatever message you want and I
thought it would be a great idea to help spread awareness about
testicular cancer,” Grant explained. “I also thought it would be
great for Isabela and I to do something together and find
motivation and inspiration somewhere else. It is helping us
connect at a deeper level, have fun and distract our minds.”
“I recently got my Green Card, which allows me to play on the
AVP in the United States, and since Isabela is Brazilian once we
get married I’ll be able to play in Brazil too. So we’ll be
travelling together on three different tours and sharing the
experience with everyone while raising awareness for health and
well-being, mostly focusing on cancer.”
And the main message they want to spread is the most valuable
lesson Grant has learned from the entire saga.
“I learned that we are all vulnerable to anything at any time.
You must know your body and be connected to it. You must give
time to yourself and your health, regardless of who you are or
what you do, we are not invincible. I was lucky enough to have
such an amazing woman by my side, who showed me the value of
being kind to yourself and truly paying attention to little
things. If it wasn't for her, this process would have definitely
been different. On top of that, I've learned that acknowledging
difficult times in your life does not make you weak or
different. It’s actually the opposite. Everyone goes through
crazy things in their lives and we can help each other become
better. It's okay to not be okay, it is okay to speak up, it is
okay to be vulnerable.
It makes us human beings, it is life.”