The Will To Fly

Alpine News - - Front Page - BY VANESSA BACON-HALL

WE ALL know the name ‘Ly­dia Lassila’ and the amaz­ing ca­reer that she has had as an ae­ri­als skier and the new doc­u­men­tary ‘The Will to Fly’ shows her path to Olympic glory and be­yond.

How­ever, the doc­u­men­tary is much more than that, it’s a mov­ing tes­ta­ment to the strength of char­ac­ter that Ly­dia has and the ut­ter de­ter­mi­na­tion she had to fol­low her goals.

This is a film not just for the sport and snow lovers, it’s a movie for any­one who be­lieves in the power of dreams and the de­ter­mi­na­tion it takes to be the best.

Ly­dia took the time to an­swer ques­tions for the Aus­tralian Alpine News.

AAN: How do you feel over­all about the film?

LL: I feel re­ally proud of it. It’s a great film with strong themes that will in­spire and mo­ti­vate oth­ers to fol­low their dreams. To be able to have a pos­i­tive af­fect on oth­ers is truly hum­bling.

AAN: How did the film come about?

LL: I was ap­proached by ex team­mate Katie Bender who was working on films in LA and had a strong pas­sion for sports doc­u­men­taries. I filled her in on my am­bi­tions to re­turn to ae­rial ski­ing as a mum and to be the first woman to per­form a quad -twist­ing -triple som­er­sault and she thought that would make a great story.

AAN: You’ve made it no se­cret that you wanted to win an Olympic gold medal and when that was not go­ing to hap­pen with gym­nas­tics, what did you orig­i­nally think when you were told you should be­come an ae­rial skier?

LL: The whole idea of ski­ing was com­pletely for­eign to me so I re­ally didn’t know what to ex­pect. But as soon as I started, I was hooked and loved ev­ery minute. Then my com­pet­i­tive spirit kicked in and I just wanted to be the best.

AAN: You worked so hard to win that gold medal in 2010 at Van­cou­ver and your rise to the top of the sport was in­cred­i­ble, but where did that strength and de­ter­mi­na­tion come from?

LL: I think it’s al­ways been in me even as a young gym­nast. My dream was to win the Olympics and I’ve al­ways loved the Olympic move­ment and what it stands for. The idea of be­ing the best in the world at some­thing was al­ways a big driver for me, so mo­ti­va­tion was never a prob­lem de­spite a few bumps in the road along the way.

AAN: Not con­tent with be­ing the best fe­male in the world, you then set out to con­quer the jumps nor­mally re­served for the male aeri­al­ists, is this still a move you are happy you went with in the fi­nal at the Sochi games?

LL: Ab­so­lutely. I had the op­por­tu­nity to do it and I have never re­gret­ted that de­ci­sion. I’ve al­ways wanted to raise the bar in women’s ae­ri­als and prove women were just as ca­pa­ble of do­ing the same tricks as the men. It was a per­sonal am­bi­tion since I started the sport and just as im­por­tant as win­ning an Olympic gold medal.

AAN: What’s in store for Ly­dia for 2016?

LL: Well, I’m a busy mum of two en­er­getic boys, we’re build­ing our home at the mo­ment and I also run my own busi­ness called BodyICE- we spe­cialise in ice and heat packs for in­juries.

I’m also happy to say that we just got the ap­proval for a world class wa­ter ramp train­ing fa­cil­ity to be built in Len­nox Head. I have been and will be heav­ily in­volved with that fa­cil­ity and I’m back in train­ing and con­tem­plat­ing a 5th Olympics.

The Will to Fly is cur­rently show­ing in se­lected cin­e­mas across Aus­tralia.

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