Checkout Carol Cooke AM PLY Watch Video

Carol was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She grew up as a swimmer with aspirations of competing at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, the opportunity vanished with the Moscow Games being boycotted.

She then followed in the footsteps of her family and joined the Metropolitan Toronto Police force where she worked for 14 years, 4 of those undercover in the Prostitution and Drug areas.

After moving to Australia and in the process of building a new life, she was devastated when diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998. By 2001, her introduction to disability had begun.

3-time Gold Medal Paralympian and 9-time World Champion in Para-Cycling

In 2005 she attended an Australian Paralympic Talent Search day and was asked to take up the sport of rowing, as it was a new sport in Beijing. She proved a natural on the water and her dream of representing her country at the highest pinnacle of sport was within her sights. Sadly her team narrowly missed out on the Beijing 2008 Paralympics but went on to place sixth at the 2009 World Rowing Championships.

Carol switched sports to cycling with a plan to make the London 2012 Paralympic team. She attained that goal winning Gold in the Time Trial, then again made the Rio Paralympics, winning 2 gold medals and then in Tokyo 2021 won silver.  In between the Paralympic Games she has won 9 World Titles and in 2022 finished the year ranked 3rd in the world.

Since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1998, Carol has dedicated her working life to raising awareness and funds for MS. She developed and after 20 years she retired from leading the operation of the 24 Hour Mega Swim event, dedicated to raising money for MS. The project has now expanded to run in four states across 17 events and raised in excess of $11 million since 2001.

Along the way Carol was bestowed the honour of being named a ‘Member in the General Division (AM) of the Order of Australia for her Gold medal and her Philanthropic work and has written 2 books, Finding Your Inner Gold (2016) and The Force Within (2021).

Carol believes that “nothing is impossible if we dare to face our fears and believe in ourselves” and believes “the greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”


“We had the absolute pleasure of Carol’s company when she joined us as a guest speaker at our company’s International Women’s Day event in 2021. To say Carol commanded the room was an understatement. She had everyone gripped, listening to her incredible story of ambition, resilience and unending determination to achieve ALL the goals she set for herself despite the challenges. Our hope was to inspire our team to keep striving for their goals, both personal and professional, regardless of the challenges that may present themselves along the way. Carol’s stories of her own journey really epitomised that theme and really resonated with our staff. One of the best events we’ve ever had. ”

Mark Johnson, CEO, Shine Solutions Group


“ I had the pleasure of touring with Carol for 2 weeks. Travelling together with Carol I was able to see in person how she resonates with our clients (audience). Carol is a great motivational speaker who knows the importance of being prepared. Working with Carol was a great pleasure for both, my company and our clients. ”

Dr. Goran Lazic, Head of Medical Support Services at AMP


“ Carol is an inspirational speaker and is seen as a great leader using stories from her various roles in life to show why people should try, even if they don’t feel they will be able to achieve. ”

Deidre McEwen, Senior Commercial Manager PLUS ES


“ Carol is an exceptional presenter who engages the audience with touching stories about her life’s journey which make you laugh and cry. ”

Bill Younger, Foundation Director, St.Vincent’s Hospital Foundation


“Carol was fantastic and so inspiring at the Vicsport Connect and Support Network session. Carol is a natural storyteller, and her stories brought me to tears while at the same time motivated me to reflect on my decisions and begin the journey to reframe the way I think.”

Development Officer at Lacrosse Victoria



Harness Your Force


From Police Officer to 3-time Paralympian, Author Carol Cooke AM PLY is an inspirational sporting figure in Australia. An expert in overcoming adversity and change
she will have your audience members challenging themselves to embrace adversity and change in their lives using her 5 steps to Harness the Force within themselves and
find their own Gold Medal Moment


F – Be FEARLESS and believe in yourself
O – Be ORIGINAL, your uniqueness can create magic
R – REFRAME your thoughts to build RESILIENCE
C – Have the COURAGE to take a CHANCE on CHANGE
E – EMBRACE the positive in life

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