Winners: Wendy Cook, Swimming

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Photograph of Wendy Cook

Portrait of Wendy Cook.
Date: 1974
Collection: Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

1974 - Feature Story

World records and Gold medals hardly seemed in the cards for Wendy Cook when she twice failed her beginner’s swimming test as a youngster. But the Vancouver swimmer persevered to not only pass the most basic of tests, but to become one of the world’s greatest swimmers. In 1974, 17-year-old Cook set a world record in the 100m backstroke that marked the first leg of the women’s 4x100m medley relay at the 1974 British Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand. Cook’s effort helped Canada win a Gold medal in that relay and she also won the women’s 100m and 200m backstroke events at those Games. Cook went on to win races at several major swim competitions in 1974, including the National Amateur Athletic Union Championships in the United States and the British Championships. She also set a national record, just missing the world mark, in winning the 200m backstroke at the Canadian National Championships in Ottawa. 

Career Highlights

  • 1990 Inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
  • 1976 Bronze medal in the 4x100m medley relay at the Olympic Games in Montreal
  • 1974 Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (Canada’s female athlete of the year)
  • 1974 Gold medals in the 100m and 200m backstroke and the 4x100m medley relay at the British Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • 1973 Bronze medal in the 100m backstroke at the 1973 World Aquatics Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia

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