Vicki Cosio, vegan tennis player
Vicky is a tennis player with an impressive history of tournament success into her 40s.
Vicky started playing tennis in high school and has never taken lessons. She plays in the 'open' division, which is the highest non-professional level. Because there are no age divisions it often includes tennis teachers, retired professionals, college players and elite juniors.
During the 1990s Vicki played in the level below and was ranked #1 in Northern California in Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles, and was Player of the Year in Northern California on two occasions before moving up to Open.
Over the sixteen years to 2012 she has been consistently ranked in the top six, noting that she regularly plays players half her age. When we spoke to her (in 2012) she was aged 48 and playing players one third of her age. In 2011 she was ranked #12 in the US in the 45 Singles division. Through her occupation she has entered and won the California Police Olympics and the California Police/Fire Summer Games and in the International Police Olympics.
We spoke with Vicki in April 2012 when she was ranked #1 in her open category at age 48, having won her third tournament of the year in April.
Vicki has been vegan since 1999. She has a strong love of animals and in the late 1990s became aware of cruelty issues, in particular Procter & Gamble’s animal testing. By 1998 she and her husband were vegetarian and a year later, vegan.
“I read Erik Marcus’ book in December of 1999 (Vegan....The New Ethics of Eating) and I went vegan overnight. My husband followed the next day, and we haven’t looked back.”
“My husband is a teaching tennis pro. Our car had so many pro vegan stickers on it. My husband used to drive that car to work every day. One day at work, this man asked my husband if he was vegan. Turned out he was Erik Marcus’ dad!!!! My husband told him what a hero his son was to us. Erik came to my husband’s work shortly thereafter, and gave him an autographed copy of his book.”
“We are vegan for the animals. We love them so much. We can’t stand the thought of animal cruelty, and we don’t want to be a part of it. That’s the reason we went vegan.”
“It’s a no brainer to say no to animal foods, when you know the cruelty that is involved in their production. I have to say, over the years I lost about 18 pounds without trying, all by eating a healthful, delicious and compassionate diet. I also am usually faster than my younger opponents and have more resistance than they do. I attribute it all to my vegan diet.”
“For me, being vegan means choosing life without cruelty. Choosing an ethical way to live. I try to be the best example of a vegan that I can, so people will ask me how at my age, I can do the things that I do. That is the opening that I have to explain veganism to them, and what it means to me and what it can mean to them.”
In August 2014 Vicki won the US Senior National Tournament despite playing in the age group below her age.