Cook-Bacon, A Sizzling Combination: Kassidy Cook, Sarah Bacon Aim For Olympics Together

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Sarah Bacon and Kassidy Cook. Photo Courtesy: Cook Family

Divers Kassidy Cook and Sarah Bacon met at a young age. They quickly discovered that it wasn’t just their names that went together (I mean how can you beat Cook-Bacon?).

They became friends despite living in different parts of the country and kept that friendship going while competing against each other at USA and college meets on the biggest stages.

Now, they are competing together, as well as against each other.

Cook and Bacon are aiming to make the U.S. Olympic team in synchronized diving as well as individually on the 3-meter springboard. They will compete at the FINA Diving World Cup from May 1-6, also in Tokyo.

“To compete in the synchro events, you have to have similar technique and similar body types and styles of diving. But also a very important part, especially in our partnership, is having a good friendship,” Kassidy Cook said. “I have known Sarah since I was about 10 years old. We competed against each other in junior diving, then NCAA diving. We were always close but became even closer.

“When I am up there with her I don’t only want to do well for myself, but I also want to do well for her. Having that chemistry is really important as well as technical similarities.”

At the USA Diving Winter Nationals in December 2019. Cook won gold on 3-meter and teamed with Bacon to win gold in the 3-meter synchro event.

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Kassidy Cook and Sarah Bacon. Photo Courtesy: Kassidy Cook

Cook made the 2016 Olympic team and helped Stanford win an NCAA championship in 2018 before retiring from the sport for a time because of injuries.

“I missed the sport and felt like I would regret it if I didn’t try once more. I had my third shoulder surgery and my body was just kind of exhausted,” Cook said. “I had that pressure to set myself up for life after sport and those pressures and the toll the sport was taking on my body led to the decision to retire. But I quit my job and went back to training. I really missed the sport. These years are special to me and I would have definitely regretted not going for the Olympics.”

Bacon won both springboard NCAA titles in March for Minnesota. She is a four-time NCAA champion and a worlds silver medalist.

With Bacon living in Minnesota and Cook living in Texas, they don’t get to train as much as they would have liked to, especially during the pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped them.

“We live in different states so we have tried to train together once a month, but starting in March 2020, we couldn’t for a while. We started picking back up on our training in October and have been doing trips back and forth ever since then,” Kassidy Cook said.

Bacon said that having school online at the University of Minnesota has been vital to that training.

“We are completely online, so that has made it easier for Kassidy to come train with me or me to go to Texas to train with her. I can do schoolwork online and I just hop on Zooms at her house,” Bacon said. “It has made training easier for me.”

And their friendship has made everything else easier.

“We have known each other for a very long time. Our coaches talk to each other on a daily basis about what we are doing in and out of the pool. If I am doing a lot of lifting, Kassidy is doing that. Our workout plans are similar. We spend a lot of time together. I will go down and spend a week with her at Texas,” Bacon said. “We spend a lot of time together, we buy matching outfits — if you can find a partner you can have fun with, it just makes you grow more and makes diving more enjoyable.”

And it could mean a Cook-Bacon sizzling experience in Tokyo.

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