Please select your home edition
Edition
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - Top 728 x 90px - 6 jpg

1996 Paralympic medalist in Para sailing David Cook has passed away

by Sail Canada 18 Jan 23:30 PST
1996 Paralympic medalist in Para sailing David Cook © Sail Canada

It is with great sadness that Sail Canada has learned of the passing of 1996 Paralympic medalist in Para sailing David Cook from Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 14, 2022, at the age of 62.

David Cook, who was diagnosed at age 17 with a degenerative and incurable neurological disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, competed at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta at which time Para sailing was a demonstration sport. In the Mixed Crewboat event, he won the silver medal along with Kenneth Kelly, John McRoberts and Kirk Westergaard.

A member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, he discovered sailing two years after his diagnosis as some workmates were already involved in the sport. "After hearing their stories, I immediately began dreaming about sailing, and soon bought my own boat. I wanted to create my own life-long memories," said David Cook in his blog at www.davidcook.ca. "For four decades and counting, from age 20 to present, my passion, no, obsession in life was the sport and recreation of sailing."

In 2008, he was introduced to radio-controlled model sailboat racing. "This gave me a new lease on life," said David Cook. "Sailing gave me that ever so needed reason to live!"

Before his death, David Cook was working on his autobiography titled "Time Stops For No One" and the proceeds of the sales were to go to Muscular Dystrophy Canada as the primary beneficiary.

He was also the founder and manager of the Victoria Sailing Foundation, which aimed to support people with disabilities and build their confidence.

Prior to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, he was one of the torchbearers who carried the flame through Great Victoria.

Brian Todd, coach

"'Cookie or Cooker', as he was known to many. David was one of the drivers of the Skud 18 class in Canada. He had an unstoppable personality and was a fierce competitor. I had the pleasure of staying with David and Raewyn (his wife) while running Paralympic training camps in Victoria during the mid 2000s."

"Dave was an amazing inventor especially when it came to developing adaptations for his disabilities. He had an elevator he designed to access his workshop (not sure if it would have been government certified but it worked). As his disease progressed, he invented items to maintain his independence for eating and many tasks he undertook each day."

"His mind was always going at hyper speed with new ideas to make his boats go faster. As coaches, we worked to settle him down to work on one task at a time."

"There is a significant hole left in the Royal Victoria Yacht Club and remote-control sailing community with Dave's passing."

Steve McBride, coach

"Dave Cook was a legend and a great friend who inspired generations of sailors. He always brought out the best in people; always pushing others to be more, to do more. Sail on Dave."

John McRoberts, teammate at the 1996 Paralympic Games

"David is someone you will never forget. He affected so many people in so many ways. Rest in peace David!"

Karen O'Neill, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee

"The Canadian Paralympic Committee is deeply saddened by the loss of David Cook and expresses its sincere condolences to all of David's family, friends, and members of the sailing world. A Paralympic medallist and a pioneer in the sport of Para sailing, David was a wonderful member of our Canadian Paralympic community for over 25 years. With his immense passion and dedication to sailing and desire to share the joy of the sport with others, he leaves behind an enduring legacy within Para sailing."

Related Articles

Sail Canada On Deck: Marjolyn Van Der Hart
ABYC Vice-Commodore interview ahead of the first "Girls in Sailing" 5-day camp The first "Girls in Sailing" 5-day camp will be held August 29-Sept. 2 at the Ashbridge's Bay Yacht Club. Posted on 12 Aug
Nathan R Cowan Memorial Awards recipients
Help keep this bursary program active by attending the Decennial Fundraiser on Sept. 3 at the RCYC Sail Canada announced today that Norman Struthers and Forrest Wachholz have been respectively named recipients of the 2020 and 2021 Nathan R Cowan Memorial Awards. Posted on 10 Aug
Sail Canada On Deck: Marie-Andrée Poulin
"On Deck" discussion with the spokesperson for the Femina Cup Marie-Andrée Poulin was an entertainment and weather reporter for the TVA and LCN French-language networks for many years. "On Deck" discussion with the spokesperson for the Femina Cup which was held July 7-10. Posted on 6 Aug
Cindy Sheppard (Hardie) passes away
Paralympic sailing coach at the 1996 and 2000 Games It is with great sadness that Sail Canada shares with the Canadian sailing community the passing of Paralympic sailing coach Cindy Sheppard (Hardie). She was 51 years of age. Posted on 5 Aug
"Whitecap": the Canadian sailing podcast
New episode now available with Tom Ramshaw The 3rd episode of "Whitecap", the Canadian sailing podcast, is now available, featuring two-time Canadian Olympian and Canada SailGP Team member Tom Ramshaw. Posted on 30 Jul
1996 Olympian Dr. Paul Hannam passes away
He represented Canada in the Men's 470 class at the 1996 Olympics It is with great sadness that Sail Canada shares with the Canadian sailing community the passing of Olympian sailor Dr. Paul Hannam last weekend. He was 50 years of age. Posted on 19 Jul
Annalise comes up with best performance in ILCA 6
Youth Worlds are an important stepping stone for sailors heading towards the Canadian Sailing Team Annalise Balasubramanian from Toronto, ON, came up with the best Canadian performance in ILCA 6 since 2009 at the 2022 Youth Sailing World Championships, which ended Thursday in The Hague, Netherlands, with a 12th-place finish. Posted on 16 Jul
2022 Sail East and Sail West preview
Close to 200 sailors from Western Canada and the Atlantic will be in action this weekend Close to 200 sailors from Western Canada and the Atlantic will be in action this weekend, July 16 and 17, as they will take part in Sail Canada 2022 Sail East competition at St. Margaret Sailing Club in Glen Haven, Nova Scotia Posted on 15 Jul
Sail Canada On Deck: Angela Chisholm
Interview with the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Worlds' General Manager The 2022 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships will be held in less than two months at St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia. Posted on 14 Jul
Ten Hove & Millen the top Canadians
With a 7th-place finish in the 49erFX at the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 Europeans Ali Ten Hove (Kingston, ON) and Mariah Millen (Toronto, ON) were the top Canadian team in the 49erFX class with a 7th-place finish at the 2022 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships which ended Sunday in Aarhus, Denmark. Posted on 11 Jul
Marine Resources 2022 Salary Survey FOOTERJ Composites 2022 - J45 FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - Redefining Boundaries 728x90 BOTTOM