Even with a shoulder injury, Kassidy Cook from The Woodlands is ready to shine at the Olympic Trials this coming weekend.
The diver, who finished 13th in the women’s 3-meter springboard at the 2016 Olympics, has described her injury as tiny tears in the rotator cuff and labrum, and that her biggest problem is with a borderline stress fracture on her acromion, which is a shoulder bone in the back.
On Sunday, she takes to the diving board with Sarah Bacon as the pair try to lock up their Olympic spot in the women’s 3-meter synchronized diving event. The two had actually already done well enough at the FINA Diving World Cup in May to secure a quota spot for America in the Olympics, which means they locked up a berth for the country. Now, they need to lock up a berth for themselves.
And Cook is ready, even with the pain that she feels.
“I’ve been plagued with injuries my entire career- so this is nothing new to me,” Cook said. “I’ve never had one this close to an important competition like the Olympic Trials, but I have had them for other important competitions in other points of my life. And I’ve always found a way to push through and fight through.
“I know, ideally, the best thing would be rest for me, to let it fully heal, but I don’t have that time,” she said. “So I’ve just really got to stay on top of my mental game - and I know when it comes down to it, my physical game will show up for me.”
Cook has already experienced the Olympics with her 2016 performance. That was in an individual event. This time, she has an opportunity to make it as part of a team - her pairing with her good friend Bacon, which has sparked many comments about the “Cook ‘n Bacon” food theme. The way Cook tells the story, they’ve gone from competing against each other over the years, to now competing with and for one another.
“We are super close - we’ve known each other since we were 10,” Cook said. “She’s one of my best friends now- and she was one of my best friends when we were younger too. So just having that history - being her best friend on the board, and outside the pool as well, really gives us that team.. that team atmosphere.
“Really, like, I want to do well for her - not only for myself,” Cook added. “I want to go up there and do my best for her as well because we are a team, and I just really love being up there and making it a team sport.”
As the saying goes, “one team, one dream.” And the time has come for Cook and Bacon to make things sizzle and turn those Olympic dreams into reality.