Unstoppable…or stubborn depending on her mood

4 02 2010
I am not a big fan of the Winter Olympics, sorry all you ski fans.  I don’t ski, anymore last trip was to a hospital to have my leg set and at that time I was a pretty good skier.  I haven’t tried snowboarding yet…would like to but have to get health insurance first.  It’s cold…need I say more.  The best I can say is the venues are awesome including this years in Vancouver.

That being said, I will be watching in earnest this year and my Olympic Hero of Choice is this young woman, Emily Cook(www.emilycook.com).  Not for what she has done, but for what she has overcome.  I saw a story on her and had to dig into it more and share my findings.

Ok just so you don’t think I am picking an underdog, I am not.  Emily is a member of the USA Ski Team and Olympic Team.  This is her second Olympics and should have been her third, more on this later.  She is an Aerialist, which means she is a little crazy, some of you might adventuresome, and goes blasting down a snowy slope and jumps off a perfectly good mountain while twisting and somersaulting in the air and landing(seriously) on her ski’s while I imagine(go with me on this one) in her mind she is screaming “TA DA!”.  She is a World Cup winner, Olympian, Multiple US National Champion and a great role model to boot, spending much of her off mountain time with children through one of her foundations for less fortunate or giving speeches on subjects like staying off drugs.  I like her, how can you not.

There is so much more to Emily than meets the eye.  She is a bulldog, a fighter.  She is stubborn and doesn’t give up.  Here is a little of Emily’s story.  Emily was 15 months old when her mother died in an accident.  She was raised by her father and still loyal sidekick Bob Cook.  Bob was quoted as saying the years after the accident were like the best of times worst of times and that Emily was HIS support(not the other way around) with all smiles, happy and full of love and joy(yes daughters, Daddy’s need love).  Sadly, Emily has no memories of her mother, just the stories family and friends have shared with her.  She feels blessed to have such a good support group and father like Bob.

She became quite a talented aerialist(not sure this is a word but I liked it) in her teens, after succeeding in gymnastics and diving, moving to Utah to train full-time.  Here she had the drive and talent to  make the 2002 USA Olympic Team.  2 weeks before the games, tragedy struck, in a practice accident, Emily broke both of her feet, shattered them really.  She still sat in a wheel chair at the games and cheered her team on, tears running down her face and a star-spangled cast on each foot.

As I had mentioned this is her second Olympics she was also on the team in 2006 and now in 2010.  Emily had multiple surgeries and 3  years of physical therapy after her accident.  Before she could ski again, she had to learn to walk again.  Unstoppable…stubborn.  She was able to get back on ski’s one year before the Olympic trials and still made the team.  Amazing, inspirational.  I will share her story with Sydney(my daughter) so that she knows she can do what ever she sets her heart on and over come the obstacles life throws at her.  She is amazing as well.  Emily was once asked to describe herself and she said “unstoppable…or stubborn depending on her mood”.

Emily in Lake Placid 2009

So tune into the 2010 Winter Olympics with  me and cheer on Emily.  It should be exciting.  You can also catch her Friday February 5th on NBC’s Today show, I have heard it should be on around 8:15am.  Let’s just hope it’s not with Kathy Lee,  man she is annoying, I hope Matt, Meredith, Al and Anne get to sit down with this inspirational young lady.

By the way, the photo’s of Emily I shared with you here, were taken by Bob Cook, her father.  He has become an accomplished photographer while being Emily’s support core all these years.

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4 02 2010
Trailblazer Gear

Go USA Ski Team!

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