Aaron Cook's Biography
Aaron Cook was born on 2 January 1991 in Dorchester.
He started taekwondo when he was 5 years old, and showed such promise from an early age that his family set about supporting him in pursuing taekwondo at the highest levels.
In 2008, the Cook family (his parents Nigel and Christine and Aaron's brother Luke) moved from Dorchester to Doncaster so that Aaron could train at the British Taekwondo Academy in Manchester.
Aaron Cook, who left school at 15 with no GCSEs, competes in taekwondo, in the -80kg division.
Aaron's achievements include being the first taekwondo athlete to hold European titles at all levels: cadet, junior, under-21 and senior.
He gained a gold medal at the European Championships in Russia in May 2010 and became world number one, however he received a series of set-backs in 2011, with early defeats in the US and German opens and the world championships.
Aaron Cook's other taekwondo career ups and down include knocking out World Champion Steven Lopez in the 2009 World Taekwondo Pro Tour final on the one hand, but failing to win a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics after a controversial refereeing decision.
In June 2011, Aaron Cook, resigned from the World Class Performance programme, preferring to pursue his own training schedule.
Regarding his private life, Aaron Cook told The Guardian:
"I do have a girlfriend. It's Bianca [Walkden, British teammate]. She's quite feisty. We like to have a little fight. Sometimes I kick her in the head. Sometimes she'll kick me in the head and then goes on about it for weeks and weeks."
In May 2012, Aaron Cook won gold at the European Championships.
However, GB Taekwondo decided not to nominate him for the London 2012 Olympic games, preferring Lutalo Muhammad, world number 93. Muhammad ended up winning the bronze medal.
Although Aaron Cook initially challenged the decision, he later abandoned the fight, saying:
"The financial implications for me, and, more importantly, for my parents, of doing so are too prohibitive."
In the aftermath of the Olympics, Aaron Cook switched his allegiance to the Isle of Man, and then to Moldova.
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