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Thursday, January 24, 2002
Updated: January 25, 5:07 AM ET
Foot injury will keep Cook out of Games news services

Freestyle aerialist Emily Cook, the top American qualifier in her sport, will miss the Olympics because of a pair of dislocated bones in her left foot.

"After seeing two specialist I have been told that I unfortunately will not be physically able to compete at the 2002 Olympic Games," Cook said. "Although I am personally disappointed, I am excited for my teammates both on the Freestyle team and the US team."

Cook hurt herself jumping at an Olympic qualifying competition in Lake Placid, N.Y., last week.

The 22-year-old jumper was named to the Olympic team pending exams by doctors, but after two exams this week, she was told she would not be ready to jump by Feb. 16, when the women's aerials begin in Park City, Utah.

"They said there's a fairly extensive rehab," Cook's agent, Evan Morgenstein, said Thursday. "They've got to take MRIs, take more pictures to make sure they have a real good sense of where the bones are."

Despite the injury, Morgenstein said Cook was upbeat and already looking ahead to her next chance at the Olympic Games.

"I am looking forward to going through my rehabilitation and getting back for Summer training at the Olympic Park," Cook said. "Now my goal is to make the 2006 U.S. Olympic team."

Last week, U.S. coaches said the team would replace any injured skiers with the next-best performer in qualifying events. Next on the list is men's aerialist Jeret Peterson.

Neither U.S. coach Jeff Wintersteen nor U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association spokesman Tom Kelly would confirm any changes in the team Thursday night.