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Lydia Lassila Wins Gold

published  First Published: 25/02/2010
Article written by: Nigel Brookson
Australia has had its most successful Winter Olympics in history, finishing 13th overall, on the back of aerial skier from Lydia Lassila who took gold at Cypress Mountain today.
Reigning world No.1 Lassila, 28, of Melbourne, overcame the frustration of knee injury at the Torino Olympics four years earlier to land two spectacular triple-twisting triple somersaults and take the gold medal with a combined score of 214.74.
China's Xinxin Guo - the first-round leader - crashed in the final jump of the day to hand Lassila the gold and finished with the bronze medal (205.22) her Chinese teammate Nina Li took silver with 207.23.
"I'm so happy. This is closure to a lifetime of hard work and sacrifices," Lassila said afterwards.
"I'm thrilled that my husband Lauri was here to see it. We'll have a bit of party tonight."
Australian veteran Jacqui Cooper was sitting in the gold medal position after two excellent jumps but finished in fifth position.
Lassila's medal took Australia's tally at the Vancouver Olympics to three after Dale Begg-Smiths silver in freestyle moguls skiing and Torah Bright's amazing gold in snowboard halfpipe and it is the most medals ever achieved by the green and gold at a Winter Games.
After her horror injury, Lassila at Torino, took time out of the sport to heal, married her Finnish skiing boyfriend Lauri in a European castle, dropped her hard-to-pronounce maiden name of Ierodiaconou, started an injury-treatment business and began rebuilding her broken Olympic dream.
That dream was realised today when she successfully landed the biggest jump ever performed by a woman in competition  a triple-twisting somersault with two of the twists in the middle flip.



Related Article: Winter Olymics 2010 Officially Opens, Torah Bright Wins Gold at Olympics, Dale Begg Smith Wins Silver, Begg-Smith Claims World Number One, Aerial Skier Lassila wins World Cup Gold


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