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Profile: Nicole Cooke

BBC WALES SPORT PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2008
Venue: The Swalec Stadium, Cardiff
Date: Sunday, 7 December Transmission: 2100 GMT
Coverage: BBC Two Wales and Radio Wales


The rugby team were not the only ones in Welsh sport to complete a Grand Slam in 2008 as Nicole Cooke accomplished her very own in stunning style.

Nicole Cooke wins Olympic gold
Winning Olympic gold was her childhood dream and Cooke realised that in the most dramatic fashion in Beijing.

Cooke rode to sporting immortality as the 25-year-old inspired Team GB to its best Olympic medal haul for 100 years when she secured Great Britain's first gold of the Beijing Games.

But not satisfied with her Olympic heroics in the road race, Cooke became the first cyclist of either sex to complete the Olympic and world championship double in the same year.

The world road race crown was the only major title missing from her impressive collection so being shortlisted for the 2008 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award is well deserved.

Cooke has blazed a trail since riding to Commonwealth glory in 2002 and she is the standard bearer of Great Britain's women's cycling team.

The Vale of Glamorgan rider became the first British woman to rise to number one in the world rankings in 2006 after winning the Grande Boucle, the women's equivalent of the Tour de France, before claiming her second World Cup title.

But winning Olympic gold was her childhood dream and Cooke realised that in the most dramatic fashion in Beijing.

606: DEBATE

In the final quarter of a mile of the 78-and-a-half mile course it looked like Cooke had lost the leaders, but she showed the spirit of a true champion to complete a phenomenal fightback.

Her late surge was enough to edge out Sweden's Emma Johansson to clinch an amazing win - the first of 19 GB golds in Beijing - in a time of 3 hrs 32.24 mins.

Now Cooke is in the running to win her second BBC Sports Personality of the Year award after capturing the 2003 trophy.

see also
Cooke grabs first GB gold medal
10 Aug 08 |  Cycling
BBC Sport Wales coverage
28 Oct 08 |  Wales


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