The first time I saw Cook competing was in an European Open Championship. He lost. I must say that I’ve seen him compete many times in different events around the world and in fact I think it’s a great competitor with a great future, especially at his young age and all the achievements he has made so far. Most of the times I’ve seen him loosing to competitors of different nationalities, however I’ve also seen him beating competitors like Steven Lopez and other elite and world recognition athletes.
Unfortunately I can not comment on the British decision of leaving him out of the Olympics since I do not know the big picture. I know, for example, Cook left the concentration with the rest of the British team, I do not know if this was the cause for the decision on his failure to attend the games, or a consequence.
I have read many bad reviews to the British Federation (I do not know if it is called this way), demonizing the decision. I think most of the comments are out of place and issuers are more lost than Hansel and Gretel in the woods when they realize that the birds had eaten the bread crumbs left by the way, as I mentioned above: no one knows for sure the reason for this resolution. I assume that those who chose to leave him out are an independent organization, then no matter if the Queen comes to protest topless, the Big Ben decides not to give the time for three days, or the roof of the English Parliament exploits, the result will remain the same: Cook will see the Olympics from the stands or on TV.
Well, within the whole show previous to the Games, I would like to emphasize something very, very important and I find worthy of recognition: Aaron Cook’s attitude to all this. In recent days we read a statement signed by the athlete where practically he admitted his defeat in trying to be the one who represents his country for the next summer Games. The reasons? He also exposes them very well there, I recommend reading this article, it’s worth it, although let me say it is very hard to read, specially if you place yourself into the shoes of someone who lost the opportunity to participate at such young age and having the highest world ranking, for the Olympic Games made in his country.
Another approach worth mentioning is also the solidarity he has given for his team and especially with Lutalo Muhammad who is the person who will participate in the competition instead of him. This really shows the maturity of a person and his moral quality despite of the bitter situation that is living.
I would like to give a recognition to masTaekwondo.com for the coverage it has had in this case and because, if it wasn’t for them, many people that today gives opinions about how things are being carried out, would not even know Cook.
And yes, I would have also wanted to see him compete in his country. Without a doubt and regardless of all that happened, his absence is a shame.
“I love my country. I love my sport. I don’t think I could have done more in terms of my performance. I will sit down with my team though and consider my best way forward in the coming months.”
Original Note: “Cocinando a Cook”