I've no doubt you've already heard, but...
Former gymnast and acclaimed aerial skier Lydia Lassila won gold for Australia in the women's freestyle aerials yesterday in Vancouver. She is just the second aerial skiier for Australia to ever medal at a Winter Olympics, and the second to manage a gold.
Those of you with mid-90's editions of Australian Gymnast magazine and a lot of time on your hands can find Lydia's name (along with Alissa Camplin's) among some of the competition results tables found at the back.
Lydia has won numerous trophies and medals for her skiing achievements, but as of early yesterday, was missing that elusive Olympic showpiece after a disasterous campaign in Torino 2006.
Australian gold at a Winter Olympics is hard to come by. Lydia not only demonstrated courage under the pressure of a worldwide audience, but courage in the face of injury recovery and courage against stiff competition. She put the politics of the qualification round behind her to let the skiing do the talking. It was interesting to see Parliament proceedings briefly paused so Kevin Rudd could congratulate her!
Congratulations also to Jacqui Cooper (in her FIFTH Winter Olympics!) and Liz Gardner who competed in the final alongside Lydia.
Australia is very proud of you all.