Carol Cooke (Picture : AustraliaCycling)
Canada-native, Carol Cooke is proudly representing the colours of Australia as she has been living in this country for many years now. In 1998, she received a multiple sclerosis diagnosis following which the doctors told her she could ‘’no longer part take in her crazy sports’’.
Cooke, who had been involved in sports since a very young age, first as a swimmer, decides that nobody will dictate her actions. In 2005, she decided to attend a talent spotting day organized by the Australian Paralympic Committee and enrolls into para-rowing where she gets the opportunity to represent Australia from 2008-2009. In 2011, she transitions to paracycling.
Cooke wins a silver medal when competing in her first World Championships in 2011 in the race-against-the-clock category. Shortly after, in 2012, Carol earns a gold medal in the mixed division of the race-against-the-clock category. Since 2013, Carol Cook has been dominating the T2 tricycle category : she indeed earned seven (7) world champion titles, including two (2) titles in Baie-Comeau’s 2013 Paracyling World Championship event.
During the Rio 2016 paralympic games, Carol wins two gold medals in the route race and race-against-the-clock categories. The 60 year-old athlete was the oldest Australian paralympianto ever compete when she raced at the Tokyo games last summer. At this event, she won the silver medal in the race-against-the-clock individual event in T2.During the route race, she unfortunately suffered a heavy fall after colliding with many other parathletes, including Québec’s own Marie-Ève Croteau. For the first time in her career, she was forced to abandon a race.
She will be back in her best shape to compete in Baie-Comeau’s Route paracycling world championships in August. The socially invested athlete founded a fund-raising event in 2001 called the 24 Hour Mega Swim. To this day, this fundraiser has raised over 9 million Australian dollars.