When I look out my window in Calgary, Canada I see the snow covered Rocky Mountains. The host of the 1988 Winter Olympics, we are proud of our winter sport athletes.
So we Canucks were a bit put out when the Australian women started kicking our butts in aerial ski jumping. Aussies should be winning surf competitions and leaving the ski medals to the Nordic countries. Right?
How did they do it? I had to check the Ski and Snowboard Australia website:
Nearly all of the world’s top aerial skiers have an acrobatic background. Alisa Camplin is an ex level 8 MLC gymnast (who is currently ranked number 1 in the world) recently won a World Championship gold medal to go alongside her Olympic Gold Medal from the Salt Lake City Games. Our winning tradition of World Champions, including ex-gymnast Kirstie Marshall and back-to-back World Cup Champion Jacqui Cooper is sure to continue with two more athletes ranked in the top ten, Lydia Ierodiaconou (2) and Liz Gardner (10).
You may have been retired from competition for several years and still be eligible for the program. You need not have skied before to be eligible for the program, in fact most of our successful aerial skiers had never skied until they joined the development Aerial Skiing program. …
The program transfers elite and high-level gymnasts to World Cup, World Championship and Olympic Games Aerial Skiing via a fast track â€“ a compressed development program that builds a high performance base of fundamental skills. …
Minimum entry requirements:
Previous competition experience at National level 7 or equivalent is required, however preference will be given to athletes who have attained a higher gymnastic level in training and/or competition.
Athletes should be retired from competitive gymnastics training and between the ages of 15 and 19 years. Consideration may be given to athletes over 20 years of age in special circumstances.
So â€” the Aussies recruit and fast track retired gymnasts, who have never even skied!
Like so many things they do in sport â€” smart!