Dual Olympic medallist and aerial skier Lydia Lassila entered the Australian history books following the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games as she became Australia’s first female winter athlete to compete at five Games. Lassila is also Australia’s most-decorated female skier having won gold in 2010 and bronze four years later in Sochi – a title she shares with fellow aerial skier and dual medallist Alisa Camplin.
A former gymnast, Lassila made her Games debut in 2002 at Salt Lake City having only been skiing for two years. A water jump accident almost ruined her 2006 campaign but just 8 months later she headed to her second Games. It was in Torino where, after landing awkwardly, she blew her knee out and would again be forced off the snow.
Back and more determined than ever, 2009 saw her take out the World Cup title, setting her up as one of the favourites at the Vancouver 2010 Games and Lassila didn’t disappoint. She became Australia’s fifth Winter Olympic champion when her triple-twisting triple somersault in the final saw her claim the gold medal. Four years later she would return to the Olympic arena, following the birth of her first son Kai, and win bronze at the Sochi 2014 Games.
Having not competed since the Sochi Games and having welcomed her second son to the world, Alek, Lassila made a remarkable return to the snow in 2017. Lassila took out two World Cup events, including her first event back, finished third overall in the World Cup standings before competing at the 2017 World Championships where windy conditions cruelled her chances of more success.
Following the World Championships Lassila waited until the first World Cup of 2018 to get back into elite competition where she finished 13th in Deer Valley. The 36-year-old showed the world she is still at the top of her game by winning gold and silver at the back-to-back World Cup events at Lake Placid just three weeks out from the PyeongChang 2018 Games, where she finished 14th in her final Olympic appearance.