On this episode I spoke with Carol Cooke, Paralympic champion, who points out the necessity to commit, when reaching any goal.
Carol was born and bred in Toronto where she fulfilled a life-long dream of following in the footsteps of her family, and served as a member of the Toronto Police Force,
leading an exciting life as a Police Officer in Canada where she
worked undercover in the drug squad for 4 years.
But life was about to change dramatically.
Carol fell in love with an Australian, married and moved half way around the world and settled in Melbourne.
After competing in Hobart at the Masters Swimming Nationals in 1998, she awoke one morning with disturbing balance
problems and double vision, symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
After an array of tests, she was bluntly told at the age of thirty-six “You have MS. Go home and get your affairs in order before you become incapacitated.”
Devastated and having only been married for three years and no immediate family around, her thoughts revolved around how she was going to cope with this disease.
Fortunately, Carol found the determination and spirit to defy what this doctor had told her.
As a swimmer, rower and cyclist Carol has proved her versatility in sport over the last 48 years and
now at an age where most people are thinking of retirement Carol continues to race at an elite international level.
Carol is an inspiration to everyone she meets including me.
In 2011 Carol took up Para Cycling and has gone on to win 3 Gold Medals at two Paralympic Games.
She has won 9 World Championships and continues to compete internationally.
She is also the founder of the MS 24 Hour Mega Swim in 2001, which is one of the fastest growing fundraising events in Australia and has raised over 10 million dollars which provides scholarships to people living with Multiple Sclerosis to follow a dream.
Carol was named in the 2014 Australia Day Honours List being named a Member of the order of Australia (AM). She received this award in recognition of her significant service to sport as a gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and for fundraising and representational roles with charitable healthcare organisations.
In 2015 Carol became an author of her book ‘Finding Your Inner Gold.’
Carol believes that, nothing is impossible if we dare to face our fears and believe in ourselves.
2018 Victorian Female Para Cyclist of the Year
2017 Award of Excellence – Victorian Institute of Sport
2017 Masters Sportsperson of the Year – Vic Disability Sport and Recreation
2016 Female Sportspersons of the Year & Masters Sportsperson of the year – Vic Disability Sport
2016 Rio Paralympics – 2 Gold Medals – Road Race and Time Trial – Para Cycling
2015 Victorian Finalist – Australian of the Year
2015 Gold and Silver-World Para Cycling Championships
2014 Order of Australia – A Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
2013/14/17/19 Dual World Champion – World Para Cycling Championships
2013/15/16/17 Australian Female Para Cyclist of the Year
2013/16 – Victorian Cyclist of the Year
2013 – Top Elite Athlete with a Disability – Victorian Institute of Sport
2012 Gold Medalist London Paralympics London Paralympics
2011-17 Included in the Who’s Who of Australian Women
2011 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards – Commendation
2010 Included in the Who’s Who of Australian Women “hope & courage”
2009 John Studdy Award from MS Australia
2008 Included in the Inaugural Who’s Who in Victoria and the Who’s Who of Australian Women
2006 Victorian Masters Sportsperson of the Year
2006 Herald Sun Pride of Australia Awards Role Model Category
2003 The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International Named a Paul Harris Fellow
2001 Rotary International Shine on Award – Certificate of Commendation
Carol lives in Melbourne, Australia.
You can contact Carol, and purchase her book at: http://carolcooke.com.au/
MS 24 Hour Mega Swim can be found at: https://www.msmegaswim.org.au/
Listen to more ‘Ready! Set! Goal! with Donna Campisi’ podcast at: https://donnacampisi.com/ready-set-goal/
To contact Donna Campisi to speak at your next event, go to: https://donnacampisi.com/contact/
Join the mailing list here to stay up