SSHoF logoJanet Cook

Athlete (2006)


Janet CookFrom her competitive beginnings with the Saskatoon Laser Swim Club, Janet saw a dream come true when she qualified for Canada's team at the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.

Janet was born in Saskatoon and seemed destined for swimming from the time she took her early ventures into the paddling pool.

One of her first awards was as top female swimmer, among 13- and 14-year-olds, at the provincials and during the 1990s; she was a fixture for the Laser Swim Club, setting 43 club records.

She was a member of the Saskatchewan First team from 1993 until 1997, set three provincial records and earned silver medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle at the 1997 Jeux Canada Games.

Her first big international competition was at the 1999 Pan-American Games at Winnipeg, where she experienced her first rush from Canada's cheering fans, was ninth in the main event and later finished first in a consolation race.

At the Pan-American Games, she was honoured to have her picture taken with Mark Tewksbury, Canada's 100-metre backstroke gold medallist at the 1992 Olympic Games.

Janet was a member of Canada's National team during 1999 and 2000 and was ranked in the top five in three events, the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100-metre fly.

In a banner season of 1999, she also had the chance to compete at the Pan-Pacific Games in Sydney, Australia. Capping off the year was an appearance at the world short course championships in Hong Kong, where she had her picture taken with Alexander Popov, the world record-holding sprinter from Russia.

Janet's ultimate dream of going to the Olympics happened in 2000 at Sydney, where the 17,000-seat building was sold out every night. She shared the joy of being part of the Olympic Games opening ceremonies and then joined her Canadian team for a seventh-place finish in the 4x100 metre freestyle relay.

The other chapter in her swimming life came while being coached by Gaye Stratten at McMaster University for four years. She was a Canadian Interuniversity Sport all-star four years and was McMaster's female athlete of the year and Ontario's female athlete of the year in 1999. She repeated as McMaster's female athlete of the year in 2000 and also earned distinction as a finalist for the Howard Mackie CIS award.