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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
Rower // Men's Squad Date of Birth: 5th Jun 1990 (29 years old)
Club: University of London BC Height: 194.00 Hometown: Windsor
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World champion and Boat Race winner Ollie Cook is looking to win a place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Cook represented his country as a junior and at U23 level before becoming part of the senior squad in 2012. He won gold in the men’s coxed pair at the 2016 World Rowing Championships.
In 2017, Cook and his brother, Jamie, were part of the winning Blue Boat crew in the 2017 men’s Boat Race before Oliver returned to full time training with the GB Rowing Team. He rowed in the bow seat of the men’s eight at World Cup III in Lucerne and also the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton.
In 2018, Cook finished second at the GB Rowing Team Senior, U23 and FISU Trials in an impressive performance with teenage partner and World Junior champion Felix Drinkall.
Having represented his country at junior and U23 level, Ollie is making his mark in the senior ranks and won World Championships gold in 2016
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
World Champion Men's Coxed Pair
European Bronze Medallist Men's Eight
Cook and Callum McBrierty started the 2016 season in the men’s pair, finishing ninth at the Varese World Cup. They then teamed up with cox Henry Fieldman in the coxed pair for the World Cup in Poznan, where they beat Turkey to gold in a two-boat race. The trio’s fine form continued at the World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam where, after winning their heat and semi-final, they stormed away from the field in the final to win gold by clear water.
Cook was selected as men’s sweep spare for the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, having finished eighth with Stewart Innes as a second GB men’s pair at the World Cup in Lucerne.
He made his first World Cup appearance during the 2013 season and it was a successful one as he won gold with the men’s eight at Eton Dorney. Cook was then selected in a second GB eight in Lucerne, finishing eighth, before making his world championships debut in the men’s pair with James Foad in Chungju, placing seventh overall.
After winning a bronze medal in the eight at the 2014 European Championships in Belgrade, he formed a second GB men’s pair with Phil Congdon at the World Cup in Lucerne, finishing 11th. He was also selected as sweep spare for the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.
Cook – whose GB debut came in the men’s four at the 2008 Coupe de la Jeunesse – raced at the 2012 World U23 Championships in Trakai, finishing just outside the medals in the men’s eight.
He made his senior debut in the same boat at the European Championships later that season, finishing fifth in Varese.
Club: University of London BC
Boat: Men’s Squad
Coaches: Rob Dauncey
Learnt to Row: Eton Excelsior RC
Original Club(s): Eton Excelsior RC
After finishing at school, Cook took a gap year to teach in South Africa. He is a trustee of the Harry Birrell Scholarship Trust, a charity that raises money to pay for disadvantaged children in Grahamstown, South Africa to go to school.
In 2011 Cook was part of the Row Zambezi Expedition. It was the first time anyone had rowed the 1,000km of the Upper Zambezi, starting from near its source on the Angolan/Zambian border and rowing to the Victoria Falls in Zambia. The expedition raised over £25,000 for Village Water.
While studying international relations and history at the London School of Economics, Cook founded the LSE Ambassadors for Sport programme which aims to support and fund students at LSE who are or, who aspire, to compete at an international level in their sport. He was also entered into the LSE Mr University competition. “Lacking any identifiable talent, I dressed up as a woman and did the Call On Me dance routine – I somehow won.”
He has also studied for a postgraduate diploma in International Development at East Berkshire College and is learning Arabic. His ideal job is a travel writer and, after the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, he travelled to North Korea. He describes it as “the most astonishing and surreal place I have been to but they were some of the most welcoming and interesting people I have ever met. I even saw someone in a single scull training on the Taedong River through Pyongyang”.
Muhammad Ali, William Wilberforce and Sir Edmund Hillary are his dream dinner companions and the Blues Brothers or any of the Monty Python films are his movies of choice.
He is Lottery funded through UK Sport.