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The Will to Fly screening

The Will to Fly screening

Join Mt Hotham Free Ski and the flim makers for a screening of Lydia Lassila's new film The Will to Fly on Saturday 10 September, upstairs at the Big D Kids Ski & Ride School.


The Will To Fly tells the inspirational story of freestyle aerial skier Lydia Lassila. In 2014 Lydia travelled to the Sochi Winter Olympics to become the first woman to perform the most complex and dangerous manoeuvre of any acrobatic sport – a quadruple twisting, triple somersault on skis.

Lydia’s quest to fulfil her sporting aspirations began when she was a child. Her natural acrobatic talents led her to participate in gymnastics, initially as a recreational activity and then in competition. When injuries prevented her from pursuing a career as a professional gymnast, Lydia’s focus shifted to aerial skiing.

In 2002, two years after skiing for the first time, Lydia made the Australian Olympic team. Suddenly she found herself training alongside an equally determined Alisa Camplin and then three times world champion Jacqui Cooper. A resolutely ambitious Lydia finished in eighth position at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics. Injured but having had her first experience of Olympic competition, Lydia’s desire for success as an aerial skier was all the more apparent. 

At the Torino Winter Olympic Games in 2006, Lydia was the favourite to win, but during her second qualifying jump, she endured a horrific knee injury that shattered her Olympic dream. Lydia’s injury exacerbated her sense of unfulfilled achievement. She was learning that her true potential and success would not only be achieved by physical prowess, technique and hard work, but through mental strength.

Lydia had yet to reach the desired level of ability to perform the quad twisting triple somersault. It was not until she had the undisrupted time in training before the Olympic event in Russia, that she successfully attempted the manoeuvre, becoming the first woman to ever do that jump on snow. 

Having qualified for the women aerial finals at Sochi, Lydia was no longer going to play it safe. She wanted to exhibit greatness on the world stage and demonstrate that women can be just as capable as men. Like history repeating itself, a training mishap resulted in Lydia injuring her right knee. Everything she had worked towards over the last fifteen years was in jeopardy but Lydia tightly strapped her aggravated knee and went back up the hill to compete.

Miraculously, Lydia pulled off her two semi-final jumps and was going to get to perform a quad twisting, triple somersault in the final. With her knee barely holding up, Lydia completed the big jump in a blur of twists. She had a little too much speed and over rotated her landing, bouncing on her back then up to her feet. Impressive in all aspects except a perfect landing, the judges deemed the jump worthy of the bronze medal. There was no doubt that Lydia had pushed her abilities to the brink.

Lydia was hailed a hero. Personally, she had safeguarded herself from future regrets. Professionally, she had also narrowed the gap between the capabilities of male and female aerialists. At Melbourne airport, Lydia was engulfed by her devoted family, overtly proud of her second Olympic medal achievement.

Lydia has always set the bar very high for her own potential, and as yet has not announced her retirement.

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea beckons but Lydia’s decision to return hinges largely on whether a world class water jump facility is built in Australia, that would allow her to train on home soil with her family nearby.


Mount Hotham Free Ski presents a special screening of this inspirational story, followed by a Q&A with the film makers.

  • Session 1: 5.00pm
  • Session 2: 7.00pm

Upstairs at The Big D Kids Ski & Ride School, Mt Hotham.

Tickets are $12 kids | $15 adults with all funds raised going back into Mt Hotham Free Ski programs.

See the movie trailer here


05 September 2016