Date Inducted:20 Oct 2010
Sport: Aerial Skiing
The Don Award

Lydia Lassila - Aerial Skiing

Lydia capped Australia's most successful Winter Olympics with a spectacular jump that delivered the aerial skiing gold medal. It was a remarkable turnaround for the 28 year old who four years ago seriously considered quitting the sport after a knee injury at the 2006 Games. Lydia won the World Cup in 2009 and came into the Games in top form after setting a world record score in January. Lydia pulled off one almighty aerial display in a heart stopping finals performance to clinch the gold.

Lydia is a product of the Olympic Winter Institute where her acrobatic skills were transformed into an Aerial Skier. She began her World Cup circuit in 2001/2002 and finished 8th in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Between 2002 and 2005 she was ranked second in the World. However in 2005 she ruptured her Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and underwent radical surgery which enabled her to recover and compete in the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. In the second round of the qualifying in Turin her knee collapsed and she re-ruptured her ACL ending her Olympics. Lydia made her comeback to World Cup competition in China in 2007 winning a silver medal, went on to win the World Cup in 2009 and went into the Vancouver Olympics as favourite.

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.