Please select your home edition
Edition
SOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 TOP

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: Alec Watters
Winner of last weekend's Saskatchewan ILCA Championships Alec Watters won the title at last weekend's Saskatchewan ILCA Championships. Posted on 23 Jun
28 Canadian sailors in Germany for Kiel Week
Including Tokyo 2020 Olympians Ali ten Hove, Mariah Millen, William Jones and Evan DePaul A total of 28 Canadian sailors, including Tokyo 2020 Olympians Ali ten Hove, Mariah Millen, William Jones and Evan DePaul, will take part in the Kiel Week event June 22-26 in Germany. Posted on 21 Jun
Share the fun of Sailing
2022 edition of National #GoSailing Week to be held June 20-26 Canadian sailing enthusiasts from across the country are invited to celebrate their favourite sport during the 2022 edition of National #GoSailing Week to be held June 20-26. Posted on 18 Jun
Sail Canada On Deck: Billy Gooderham
A member of the Canada SailGP Team Billy Gooderham is a member of the Canada SailGP Team that competed in the Bermuda SailGP last month. Posted on 17 Jun
The 2nd edition of Canada's Celebration of Sailing
To be held in the afternoon of October 19 at the RNSYS Sail Canada, along with the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron (RNSYS), is inviting all Canadian sailing fans to Canada's second annual Celebration of Sailing event which will be held in the afternoon of October 19 at the RNSYS. Posted on 11 Jun
Sail Canada introduces its 2022 Youth Worlds team
The competition will be held July 10-14 in The Hague, Netherlands Sail Canada is pleased to introduce its 11-member team that will represent the country at the 2022 Youth Sailing World Championships to be held in The Hague, Netherlands, July 10-14. Posted on 9 Jun
Sarah Douglas the top Canadian in ILCA 6
At the World Sailing World Cup in the Netherlands Canadian sailor Sarah Douglas from Toronto, ON, recorded Canada's best performance in ILCA 6 at the second World Sailing World Cup of the season that ended on Sunday in Almere-Lelystad, Netherlands, as she finished in 13th position overall. Posted on 6 Jun
Canadian sailors at the ILCA 7 Men's Worlds
Two Canadian sailors qualify for the Gold Fleet for the first time since 2016 Canadian sailor Fillah Karim from Vancouver, BC, closed out the 2022 ILCA 7 Men's World Championship as the top Canadian with a 43rd-place finish. Posted on 30 May
2022 Canadian e-Sailing Championship
The best Canadian eSailors will face off virtually on Tuesday, June 7 After battling it out over a period of three months, the best Canadian eSailors will face off virtually on Tuesday, June 7 at 8 pm (Eastern Time) in the final races of the second edition of the Canadian eSailing Championship. Posted on 29 May
Sarah Douglas to lead 8-member Canadian team
At the second World Sailing World Cup of the season in Almere-Lelystad, NED Canadian sailor Sarah Douglas from Toronto, ON, will lead a Canadian team comprised of a total of eight athletes at the second World Sailing World Cup of the season to be held in Almere-Lelystad, NED, May 31 to June 5. Posted on 26 May
McConaghy 2022 - MC63p & MC75 FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomArmstrong-Logo-Only-728x90 gif BOTTOM