Back-to-back Olympic aerials medalist Alisa Camplin of Australia retires


Back-to-back Olympic aerials medalist Alisa Camplin of Australia retires{mosimage}Australia’s first back-to-back Olympic Winter Games medalist, Alisa Camplin, retired from freestyle aerial skiing on Tuesday.

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates wrote to Camplin to thank her for her sensational contribution.

“On the occasion of your retirement I’d like to once more thank you for your outstanding contribution to the Olympic Movement in this country, both on and off the slopes,” Coates wrote. “We are very proud of you and all you have achieved.”

Camplin will forgo the opportunity of an Australian farewell after announcing her immediate retirement.

The 31-year-old, who added a surprise bronze medal from February’s Winter Olympics in Torino to her gold won four years prior in Salt Lake City, decided against competing at September’s World Cup event at Mount Buller.

Camplin had been toying with the idea of a swan song at the Victorian ski resort where she started her aerials career as a 19-year-old, but decided to bow out on top after her dramatic medal in Italy.

“Turin was a fairytale ending, so it seems the perfect place to finish,” she told New Idea magazine. “It’s quite sad because I could have easily continued for another four years, but I’ve achieved everything I’ve ever wanted from the sport.

“Now I’m looking forward to exciting things in the future, like having a family and starting a new career.”

Camplin became Australia’s first back-to-back Winter Olympics medalist in amazing circumstances after she took the radical step of having the tendon of a cadaver grafted onto her injured knee less than four months out from the Torino Games.

She struggled through the qualifying round at the Olympics but snuck into the finals, where she executed two clean jumps to finish third.

Camplin won all the major trophies in aerial skiing, taking the 2003 World Championships and the overall titles in 2003 and 2004. She achieved 10 World Cup victories, 19 World Cup podiums and 33 World Cup top-10 results throughout her career.

Camplin will start a ski travel company and pursue media interests.

Short-track speed skater Steven Bradbury is the only other Australian to win two Winter Olympic medals, with his 5000-meter gold in Salt Lake City and relay bronze in Lillehammer in 1994.

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