British-born taekwondo star aims to fight for Moldova in Rio
LONDON (AP) — A top-ranked British-born taekwondo fighter has obtained a Moldovan passport and hopes to compete for the eastern European country at next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Aaron Cook was overlooked for a spot on the British team for the 2012 London Olympics after leaving the national training academy despite being the No. 1 athlete in his 80-kilogram category. At the time, Cook said he felt “cheated” and complained that British taekwondo officials were punishing him for ditching their program.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Cook said he would “soon begin a new journey representing the Republic of Moldova at all international competitions,” including the Olympics in Rio.
The British Olympic Association has to give its assent to Cook’s nationality switch for the games.