Winter Olympian/Australian Survivor Contestant
From a very young age Lydia’s goal was to win an Olympic Gold medal the only problem she faced was that she didn’t know what sport she wanted to do it in. At first she looked to gymnastics but, with opportunities missed, it was not meant to be and injury forced her into retirement at the age of 16. It was only when she heard of a unique program in Australia that was transforming ex-gymnasts into aerial skiers that she turned her attention to the snow. She had never skied before, but her passion for competition and burning desire to be an Olympic Champion was enough to overcome any obstacle that stood in her way.
In less than two years, Lydia was competing in the finals of the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, where she finished 8th. The following year in 2003, she was already ranked second in the world, which she backed up for another three years with multiple World Cup wins and podium finishes. Her rise to the top ranks was the most rapid in the sports history. In a way it was her over ambition and impatient nature that was keeping her from the elusive #1 spot.
One month before the Vancouver Olympics she scored a 220.91 executing a new jump that no woman had ever completed before. That year in Vancouver Lassila achieved her childhood dream and won the Olympic Gold medal in the highest scoring final of all time and became world number one. Lydia’s gold medal was her most prized possession but only up until Mother’s Day 2011, when her son Kai was introduced to the world.
In 2016 the movie-length documentary The Will To Fly was released which records Lydia’s life It was released to critical acclaim.