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Lassila returns as Aussie team flies to Deer Valley

12 January 2018

AERIALS: The Australian aerials team will be at full strength for the first time this season as Lydia Lassila lines up in her first major event since last year’s World Championships.

The 2010 Olympic Champion will join 2017 World Championship silver medallist Danielle Scott, Sochi 2014 silver medallist David Morris and fellow Olympians Samantha Wells and Laura Peel in Deer Valley for the penultimate weekend of World Cup competition prior to PyeongChang.

Lassila has been training hard in Ruka, Finland over the past few weeks and is now looking forward to doing what she does best.

Unfortunately the conditions haven’t been the greatest leading into the competition but after some initial delays to training Lassila and her teammates have managed to get out on the snow.

“We finally got out here today and there still wasn’t much jumping,” Lassila said.

“The jumps that I did do were really good so I’m really happy with how it went.”

Despite the lack of training, Lassila is quite familiar with the Deer Valley course.
In 2002 as the new kid on the block Lassila finished eighth at her Winter Olympic debut on the very jumps she is competing on this weekend.

Fast forward 15 years and in her second event back since winning her second Olympic medal, a bronze in Sochi, the 35-year-old claimed 2017 World Cup gold to get her push towards PyeongChang started.

“This is so familiar here at Deer Valley. It’s always really nice to come back and I love competing on this course.

“I feel really good and if we can get another good day of training in I will feel even better.

“But competition is competition and that is what we are here for so I’m looking forward to that and putting down some nice jumps hopefully.”

While this will be Lassila’s first event of the season, the rest of the Australian Team got off to a steady start at the opening competitions in China.
Scott won the single-jump second event at the site of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic competition at Secret Garden, Wells finished sixth and fifth across the two events and Peel got 9th and 13th.

After Morris claimed 11th and 9th in the men’s events he linked up with Scott and Wells to win silver in the non-Olympic team event.

With Olympic quotas already safe, the Aussie team skipped the Russian World Cup in Moscow and will be looking to build up their momentum towards PyeongChang in Deer Valley.

The event will be broadcast live on Eurosport (Foxtel Channel 511) at 2pm Saturday AEDT.

Matt Bartolo

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