Alisa Camplin


Alisa Camplin

Alisa Camplin OAM (born 10 November 1974 in Melbourne, Victoria) is an Australian aerial skier who won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, Camplin finished third, a bronze medal. She is the first Australian to win medals at consecutive Winter Olympics. MedalSport|Women's freestyle skiing (aerials) MedalGold|Salt Lake City 2002|Aerials MedalBronze|Turin 2006|Aerials MedalBottom

Background

Alisa is an ex-gymnast, standing at 157cm tall. She was educated in Melbourne at the Methodist Ladies' College. As a teenager, Alisa was an accomplished sailor, winning two Australian National Titles in the Hobie Cat catamaran class. Inspired by the example of three-time Olympian Kirstie Marshall, Camplin approached the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia in 1994 to see the possibilities of becoming an aerial skier. She was new to skiing, and even in Salt Lake she trampled on her victory flowers when she fell over during the trip to the winner's news conference.

She practiced jumps in a pond in Wandin (one hour's drive from Melbourne) and was coached by Todd Ossian.

Injuries she has suffered include a broken collarbone, broken hand, separated shoulder, two broken ankles, torn Achilles tendon, torn ACL, and nine concussions.

Before the 2002 Winter Olympics, none of the dozen top 10 results she had made on the World Cup circuit included a victory, and compatriot Jacqui Cooper was viewed as the favourite for the aerials event. While most athletes use flags to mark the start of their jumps, Alisa used a wooden spoon. The rationale was that early in her career, confusion was caused by both Alisa and Jacqui using Australian flags to mark their starts, but in Australia a wooden spoon is a metaphorical prize for people or teams coming last in their sporting event.

Alisa studied information technology and business at Swinburne University of Technology in the 1990s.

alt Lake City 2002

Alisa competed at the Olympics against doctors' advice – she had injured herself after being caught by a headwind in training a few weeks before. At the time, she was told she had bone bruising, it wasn’t until she was examined by doctors in Salt Lake that she discovered both her ankles were fractured. The doctors were amazed that she was walking, let alone planning to jump.

Jacqui Cooper injured her knee in practice a week before the games. Alisa was so nervous she didn't eat dinner the night before the final. Camplin performed a pair of triple-twisting, double backflip jumps to win the event.

Her family had been told to stay home by the athlete because she didn't want distractions in the crowd, but her mother and younger sister Georgina defied her,watching her from behind a large Australian flag.

Alisa said that Steven Bradbury's recent win in short track made things easier for her: "When he came through, it almost pleased me that I didn't have to go out and do this," she said. "I knew that was a big thing my nation was trying to chase. When Steven did it, I was like, 'Good, I don't have the weight of the nation on my shoulders.'"

Camplin's gold was celebrated by Australia post issuing a 45 cent stamp of her. Her stamp was issued on 22 February, four days after her victory. [http://www.glenstephens.com/linnsMarch11-02.html Aussie golds in Winter games bring more instant stamps] by Glen Stephens. Linn's stamp news. March 11, 2002.] She received $20,000 for the use of her image. Camplin was delighted, saying "For us to be put in with the summer Olympians who had their stamps and the previous 39 sporting legends who’ve had their stamps is amazing.""Gold medallists get framed stamps" Australian Olympic Committee February 25, 2002.]

Turin 2006

In her preparations for the Turin Winter Olympics, Camplin incurred a serious knee injury in October 2005, requiring a knee reconstruction. To speed the healing process, she used the relatively uncommon practice of using donor tissue in the knee, and returned to limited training only 11 weeks after the surgery. She finished fourth at a World Cup event in Lake Placid to secure her place in the team.

On 22 February, in a night competition that was marked by a thick fog that disturbed competitions to an extent, Camplin registered a score of 94.99 in her first jump, the fourth best. In the second jump, she received a 96.40, which temporarily placed her second, a silver medal. She was, however, eventually dislodged by China's Li Nina, finishing third behind Switzerland's Evelyne Leu, who won the event, and Nina, who took silver. She also benefited from the unexpected fall of China's Xinxin Guo, who had received the highest score in the first jump and was expected to secure a place in the Olympic podium — at which time Camplin, who was already third then, would have gone out of the medal zone.

She was selected to be the Australian flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony.

Post-skiing career

Camplin announced her retirement from competition in July 2006. She intends to pursue interests in the media and in the ski travel industry. [cite news|url=http://www.abc.net.au/sport/content/200607/s1688108.htm|title=Camplin hangs up skis|publisher=ABC (Australia) online news|date=2006-07-17|accessdate=2006-07-17]

As of 30 July 2006, she is an international ambassador for IBM, works as a motivational speaker, and does promotional and charity work. She has been the face of Wrigley's Extra chewing gum in Australia since shortly after the 2002 Winter Olympics. She is also a judge on the Australian television competition "Torvill and Dean's Dancing on Ice", and runs Alisa Camplin Ski Tours. [cite news | last=Dobbin | first=Winsor | title=High flyer | date=30 July 2006 | publisher=The Age | url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/sport/high-flyer/2006/07/29/1153816427228.html]

References

* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/olympics/2002/skiing/news/2002/02/18/womens_aerials_ap/ Flying high: Camplin's aerials win gives Australia another gold]
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/olympics/2002/news/2002/02/18/murphy_camplin/ She comes from the land Down Under : Aussie aerialist Camplin captures gold in dramatic fashion]
* [http://www.sportal.com.au/othersports.asp?i=news&id=77608 Camplin to Carry Australian Flag] - sportal.com.au, Friday 10 February


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