Becoming an Olympic athlete requires much more than excellence in a certain sport. It takes a strong, resilient mindset to overcome injury and failure, strategic long-term vision and expertise in setting and achieving goals. You can bet your bottom dollar that along with the dizzying heights of success, these champion athletes have also overcome extreme adversity to reach the pinnacle of their careers – so how did they do it?
Get a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make it to the very top. These 5 Winter Olympians are no strangers to enthralling big crowds, and each would make a perfect addition to your next event line-up.
Lydia has represented Australia in four Olympic Games, courageously returning from serious injury to win gold and bronze medals, capturing the hearts of a global audience in the process. She currently holds three world records, including the history-making quad twisting triple somersault that landed her in the record books as the first woman ever to accomplish the feat.
Lydia has won the Don Award, Athlete of the Year, Snowboard Athlete of the year and in 2012 was awarded an Order of Australia medal. Off the slopes, Lydia runs a successful business, has authored two books and is a mother to two boys… not a lot of down time in the Lassila household! Read more about Lydia here.
One of the world’s most colourful Olympic Champions, Steven Bradbury created history when he won the Southern Hemisphere’s first ever Winter Olympic gold medal. He also won fans the world over for the honesty and humility he showed after his unexpected speed skating win.
Steve overcame serious injury in his journey to the top, including a race accident that required 111 stitches and a training mishap in 2000 that resulted in a broken neck. Perseverance and hard work had that same neck displaying an Olympic gold medal just 18 months later! Steve received ‘The Don Award’ for Australia’s best sporting performance in 2002, and in 2007 was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his services to Australian Sport.
Steve is one of Australia’s most in-demand and entertaining speakers, having presented at over 650 conference and events in 14 countries over the last 10 years, receiving wonderful feedback from clients. Read more about Steve here.
Australia’s first female Winter Olympic Gold Medallist, Alisa is a passionate high-performance mental health advocate, as well as respected leader in business, sports administration and corporate governance.
In 2002, Aerial Freestyle Skier Alisa Camplin became the first female Australian to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. She’s a tough competitor who broke nearly every bone in her body on her way to winning back-to-back Olympic medals in world-record-breaking style, and her courageous story is one of inspiration, adversity and determination. Alisa received the personal honour in 2007 of being awarded the Order of Australia Medal and became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2018.
With over two decades of accomplishments as a global corporate executive under her belt, Alisa teaches practical solutions and small changes that can lead to positive sustainable outcomes. Her powerful presentation covers mindset, resilience, goal setting, high-performance, mental wellbeing and sustained success, and is relevant to both personal and professional life. Read more about Alisa here.
Jess was the first Australian athlete – Olympic or Paralympic – to medal at both a Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Her story is one of perspective, trust and creating a positive, empowered mindset to achieve goals.
Jess Gallagher began to lose her sight at the age of 17 due to a rare, degenerative eye disease. Letting go of her dream to become a professional netballer, Jess discovered the world of Paralympic sports and learnt to put her life into perspective. She also learnt the importance of trust – it’s a pretty handy skill to have when you’re hurtling down a mountain at over 100km/hour, with someone else acting as your sight!
Jess became Australia’s first female winter Paralympic medallist at the 2010 Paralympic Games, and has since created history by going on to medal at both summer and winter Paralympics.
As a high-performance athlete in the dangerous world of Alpine Skiing, Jess shares the practical ways she shaped her risk appetite and turned fear into a must-have component of her performances, mindset and skill. She gives audiences tips and tools to create positive and sustainable habits to live their best life, and she does it with rare style. Read more about Jess here.
Jacqui is the greatest aerial skier of all time. Her story is one of self-belief, passion, the ability to overcome adversity and the strength of the human spirit. Your lasting impression will be that “success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Jacqui Cooper represented Australia in the sport of aerial skiing for over 20 years, dominating and revolutionising the sporting world. She competed in 139 World Cup Events, nine World Championships and was selected to five Winter Olympic teams – the first Australian Woman in history to have enjoyed this honour. With a record five world titles, 39 World Cup medals, 25 World Cup wins and three major World Championship medals to her name, Jacqui is indisputably the greatest aerial skier of all time.
Overcoming numerous serious injuries, including multiple reconstructions of her knee, elbow, shoulder and hip and a broken back sustained during a stunning World Title win, Jacqui’s career was marked by triumph, tragedy and sheer determination. She spent twenty years planning, learning, failing, overcoming adversity, developing, reinventing, striving and succeeding, and now she shares her incredible knowledge and experience with audiences around the world.
Outside of sport, Jacqui also found the time to start her own successful company, write two books based on her experiences with IVF and create a range of gluten-free products inspired by her daughter’s Coeliac diagnosis. Her journey is unique, and her story will leave you mesmerised. Read more about Jacqui here.
All of these Olympic athletes are captivating motivational speakers, passionate about sharing their stories and inspiring others to succeed. If you’d like to engage any of them to bring out the inner champions in your team or audience, get in touch with us for a chat.