Stephanie Cook holds the unique honor of being the first gold medalist in the Women’s Modern Pentathlon. She also holds an honorary doctorate of medicine from the University of Bath.
Stephanie was born in Scotland and grew up competing in rowing. She took up modern pentathlon while completing her clinical medicine studies at Oxford. She was president of the Oxford University Modern Pentathlon Association from 1995 to 1996 and won the women’s individual title in the Varsity match against Cambridge in 1997. Stephanie completed her medical studies and started working as a doctor. As she continued to make progress in her sport and embarked on international success, she qualified for a UK sport grant that would enable her to train full-time for the 2000 Olympics. Having put her medical career on hold, she travelled to the Sydney Games where the Women’s Modern Pentathlon was featured for the very first time.
After a tough start to the competition, Stephanie clawed her way back up the field. After a dramatic 3km cross-country race in which she passed the leader with 250 meters to go, the gold medal was hers. Stephanie was awarded an MBE for her services to the sport in the British 2001 New Years Honours, and went on to win the world championships the following summer. She was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Medicine) from the University of Bath in 2008.
Stephanie retired after winning the world championships in 2001 and is now continuing her career as a doctor.