Lydia Lassila has one World Cup win to her credit this season. Image courtesy of fis-ski.com
Lydia Lassila continued Australia’s proud tradition in women’s freestyle aerials by jumping her way to gold in Vancouver. She followed up Alisa Camplin’s gold in Salt Lake City and bronze in Turin, not to mention Kirstie Marshall’s efforts as the country’s trailblazer in the sport in the 1990s, and former World Cup champion Jacqui Cooper.
Much like Australia’s other gold medallist from Vancouver, Torah Bright, Lassila took time away from the sport after her amazing success in 2010, only returning to competition in 2012. The 32-year-old finished third overall in the 2012/13 World Cup season and placed fifth at the 2013 World Championships in Voss, an event in which fellow Australian Danielle Scott won bronze.
Leading into her fourth Games, the Melbourne mum had shown solid form on the World Cup circuit, with gold in Val Saint-Come and silver in Beijing. She’s also hoping to use a new manoeuvre – a quad twisting triple somersault called a ‘full double full full’ on the Sochi slopes.
She’ll need every point she can muster to break up China’s apparent stranglehold on the event. Two-time Games silver medallist, Li Nina , has been the dominant force in the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup this season with two wins, a third and a fourth in five starts. Zhang Xin has one win to her credit and three placings, while Xu Mengtao has also regularly been in contention. Scott finished second in the final warm-up event in Lake Placid in mid-January.
LIVE on Ten/One
Click here to bet on The Games – Freestyle Skiing – Women’s Aerials