American Stacey Cook is hoping the third time is the charm as the speed specialist hopes to contend for her first Olympic medal in Sochi. After finishing 19th in the downhill in Torino in 2006 and 11th in the downhill in Vancouver four years later, Cook has made steady improvements and in 2013 was among the top downhill skiers in the world. She scored a pair of runner-up finishes at the World Cup stop in Lake Louise and finished a career-best fourth in the downhill season standings.
- 2008: U.S Championships – Gold (super-G, downhill)
- 2006: U.S. Championships – Gold (super-G)
Things to know:
1. Cook’s family owns land in the Sacramento Valley that they use for hunting, harvesting fruit, and environmental protection. The California Waterfowl Association funds a conservation project on the property that seeks to restore wetlands and waterfowl populations to previous norms. The land also has bountiful orchards of peaches, apricots, apples, "the hugest pears ever," grapefruit, and a dessert melon that "is the most delicious thing ever."
2. Cook grew up in Truckee, Calif. about 10 miles north of Lake Tahoe. As a young skier, she often competed alongside two-time Olympic teammate Julia Mancuso in both skiing and soccer. Cook has an older brother, Gary, and a younger brother, Ryan. Gary was a four-year starter as a kicker/punter at UNLV, where he set a school record for most career punting yards. Cook currently lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
3. In April 2008, Cook filmed a commercial for Tourism California with then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She was initially surprised by how good of a skier he was, before recalling, “Of course, if you consider he grew up in Austria, you soon realize it is in his blood.”