Alisa camplin

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2002 Gold Medal Podium
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In Brief

  • Birth Date, November 10, 1974
  • Birth Place, Melbourne, Australia
  • Height, 157 cm
  • Sport, Aerial Skier
  • Pro, 1993
  • Olympic Success, Gold 2002 Aerials, Bronze 2006 Aerials.


With a smile that could light up the Rocky Mountains, Camplin said: "Really crazy things happen at Olympic Games. Look at the history. You never know, I might come home with the gold medal."

Alisa Camplin is an aerial skier who won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics and bronze at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Alisa captivated the world and made history through the triumph of quiet dedication.

To win the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the 5-foot-2-inch Australian landed a “back full/double full” on her second jump. She out-jumped the World Record Holder, reigning World Cup Grand Prix Champion and the World Champion to become the Olympic Champion.


While the Australia public was taken by surprise, there was collective pride (and tears) for Australia's humble hero during Alisa's triumph and gold medal presentation in Salt Lake City. However the “aerial skiing community” was not surprised to see the Olympic gold medal hanging around Alisa’s neck. Alisa finished 7th at her first Aerial World Championships in 1999.

Alisa continued in proving her form in a very short period of time and achieved an incredible ranking of fifth in the 2000-2001 World Cup standings as a result of these consistent performances. Alisa also started the latest season in great form, wining a silver medal in the second World Cup of the season at Mt Buller, then followed with a string of top five placings, including two podium finishes.

Few know about Alisa's path to the Olympics, including striving for perfection, precision in planning, dedication of training and rehabilitation from injuries. For example, she competed at the Olympics with two broken ankles! This followed a series of nine concussions, a broken collarbone, a broken hand, a separated shoulder, a torn knee ligament and a torn achilles’ tendon. However, Alisa is the first to admit that it was worth it to become Australia’s first-ever female (and first-ever snow sport) Winter Olympic gold medallist.

Junior years

Alisa Camplin started running at age six and won several state titles in the middle distance (800m and 1500m).

At 14 she took up gymnastics and progressed to become a national stream gymnast. As a teenager she sailed hobby cat catamarans and won two National Titles. She saw snow for the first time on a high school trip and skied for the first time at 19yrs old! Alisa was 21 years when she first competed and has now been on the Australian Team for three years. We look forward to watching and supporting Alisa beyond her Olympic triumph for the upcoming World Cup series, World Championships and other exciting pursuits both on and off the snow.

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2002 Olympics

When Alisa Camplin won Australia’s first Olympic skiing gold medal ever at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games, she ended one of the most unlikely journeys in the history of Australian sport. She was 27 years old, and for 22 of them her ambition had been to compete at an Olympic Games. For much of that time she thought it would have been in the summer Games, in either athletics or gymnastics. She rarely saw snow before she was an adult, and did not buy her first pair of skis until she was 22. Her life changed when she attended a Melbourne trampoline demonstration in 1994, at a time when Geoff Lipshut, later chief of the Olympic Winter Institute, was trying to identify potential talent for the new sport of aerial freestyle skiing. The idea was to turn gymnasts into aerial skiers. She did well, was recruited, and delivered pizzas and worked as a cleaner to raise enough money to ski.

Camplin’s passage to the Olympics involved seven years of hard labour, with a procession of increasingly difficult somersaults and some awful accidents. She broke her collarbone and a hand, separated her shoulder, dislocated her sternum twice, ripped her hip flexor out of her groin, broke both ankles, tore her right knee and cracked 12 ribs. But after she soared through two perfect triple twisting double somersaults to win the Olympic gold medal at Deer Valley, she felt all the agony had been worthwhile. In 2002/3 she won the World Championship and the World Cup title. Her world crown defence was ruined by a snapped anterior cruciate ligament suffered in a freak training accident that kept her out of action for ten months. In another water jump training accident Camplin re-tore the same ligament only months out from the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games. She had allograft surgery to repair the knee and resumed rehabilitation in a desperate attempt to defend her crown. Amazingly she was back on the snow on Christmas Day, just six weeks from the Opening Ceremony.

2006 Olympics

The ability for Camplin to stay focussed in Torino and never stop believing was her most powerful weapon. Before the final began Camplin had led the 40-strong team in the Opening Ceremony, survived a nervous wait after back slapping a landing in a postponed qualifying, and then watched team-mate Lydia Ierodiaconou’s Olympic dream come was over when her allograft knee failed in qualifying. Twenty-four hours later as her competitors went for greater degrees of difficulty Camplin nailed her trademark triple twisting double somersaults and won the bronze medal. Although the back-to-back gold fairytale did not eventuate, what she had endured to win her second Olympic medal made her Torino bronze as sweet as her Salt Lake gold.

Post Olympics

Alisa Camplin retired from competition in 2006 and has commenced her own Alisa Camplin Ski Tours company which organises accompanied high end tours with Alisa.