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Lassila to shoot for 5th Winter Olympics

  • Lassila to shoot for 5th Winter Olympics

    Aerial skier Lydia Lassila has confirmed she'll make a tilt for a fifth Winter Olympics.

Lydia Lassila has confirmed she'll make a tilt for a record-equalling fifth Winter Olympics, buoyed by a decision to build a $6 million training facility in Australia.

Lassila, a gold medallist from Vancouver in 2010, has agonised over the decision since also taking out bronze two years ago at the Sochi Games.

She kept fit with the thought of the Pyeongchang Games in the back of her mind; this month's go-ahead for the NSW north coast water jump site effectively sealing the deal for her.

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"A lot of ex-athletes have said to me you are a long time retired so make sure you are stopping for the right reasons," the 34-year-old mother of two said.

"I want to retire because I've had enough - not because I couldn't train in Australia."

After years of wrangling and a false start at building the site in Brisbane, the fact the training facility is getting constructed might be a show of faith in the sport but the reality is Lassila could actually get little, if any, use out of it before the February 2018 Games.

Construction might take anywhere up to two years.

"Optimistically, we could have something running by June (2017) and that would give me an extra two months of training here ... but I am not going to hold my breath," she said.

Instead, Lassila will embark on a training camp in Switzerland over July/August this year to get back up to speed with her jumps and then head to Finland later in the year to practise on snow.

She is considering tackling an abbreviated World Cup campaign for 2016/17 but will wait to see how the first few months of her comeback play out before making any further decisions.

"I'm not going to the Olympics to do the biggest trick a woman has done before because, realistically, that may be too risky for me and too dangerous because I just may not be able to have the preparation to do it safely," said Lassila who just failed to land a women's first quad-twisting triple somersault in competition at Sochi.

"But we'll see. Anything is possible."

If successful in making a fifth Games, Lassila will be the first Australian woman to compete at five Winter Olympics and likely just the third across summer/winter.

Fellow aerialist Jacqui Cooper was named in five Games teams but was injured while training in the lead-up to the 2002 Salt Lake City event.

Beach volleyballer Natalie Cook featured in five Summer Olympics and she's expected to be joined on that mark in Rio by table tennis' Fang Lay.

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