Olympian argues for ski jump training facility at Lennox

Lydia Lassila
Lydia Lassila

AFTER claiming a bronze medal in Sochi on the weekend, aerial skier Lydia Lassila made a pitch for the construction of a Winter Olympics training facility at Lennox Head.

"It's something we damn well should have if we want to continue winning medals in this sport," she said.

The former gold medallist said it would be a "game changer" for winter sports athletes.

A $6 million facility featuring a pool and 36m high jump was to be constructed in Brisbane, but Campbell Newman's government withdrew funding support.

The Winter Olympic Institute of Australia then went looking for alternative locations and a proposal to build the facility next to the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre was sent to New South Wales Sport and Recreation Minister Gabrielle Upton.

The Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team, Ian Chesterman, said they were working closely with the NSW Government to make it a reality.

"We have won four consecutive Olympic medals in this sport (aerial skiing) but it's much more than an aerial facility," he said.

"It's a winter sports facility that will have great benefits for many other sports and there would be an economic plus.

"We will have a world class facility in Australia that athletes will want to come from all over the world to use."

At the moment aerial skiers and snowboarders have to train overseas for most of the year.

Ms Lassila said having a domestic facility would enable to the Australian team to grow and be more competitive.

"These girls coming though now could gain so much by having it," she said, "just being able to be home nine to 10 months of the year instead of being away. "It (would be) such a huge advantage to have it in the southern hemisphere where it can be open 12 months of the year."

Minister for the North Coast Don Page said he was pushing his NSW colleagues to support the Lennox Head proposal.

"It would be the only facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere and the best of its kind in the world," he said.

"It would be another great attraction for the North Coast," he said.

"I think there are a lot of synergies between surfing and winter sports.

"Lennox has beautiful weather so they could train all year round."


1. Norway

2. United States
3. Germany
4. Russia
5. Canada
6. Netherlands
7. Switzerland
8. Belarus
9. France
10. Poland
22. Australia

Topics:  olympics sochi winter olympics

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