ENTERTAINMENT

The adventurous family life of aerial skier Lydia Lassila

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Australian aerial skier Lydia Lassila might have hung up her skis, but her involvement with the Winter Olympics is far from over.

WATCH BELOW: Lydia Lassila’s Olympic Gold performance

After competing in five Winter Olympic games over the last 20 years, the 40-year-old is no longer competing. She has instead joined the delegation of commentators who will be spending time in Beijing covering the upcoming games.

But how did she get there? From her first Olympics onwards, Lydia has lived an adventurous and somewhat competitive life, spending time all over the globe preparing to take out medals.

She’s not only had an elite athletic career, but also gotten married, created a family, and lived in some of the most stunning locations in the world.

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Lydia at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where she won gold for Australia. (Credit: Getty Images)

Lydia reached international acclaim through her aerial skiing.

Beginning in gymnastics at age eight, she was eventually approached and asked if she’d like to try aerial skiing, which is somewhat a mix of both.

She competed in her first Olympics in 2002 at Salt Lake City but wouldn’t win gold until the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

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Lydia with her medal. (Credit: Getty Images)

She won Australia’s second gold medal at the games, with the first going to Torah Bright.

It was also Australia’s ever second gold medal for aerials, with the first going to Alisa Camplin in 2002.

While her Olympic career ended in Pyeongchang at the 2018 Winter Olympics, she is still an avid skier and yogi, and shows her sporty lifestyle across her social media.

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Lydia with her husband, Lauri. (Credit: Instagram)

As for her personal life, Lydia is married to Lauri Lassila, a fellow skiing champion. While Lydia is known for her work in aerial skiing, Lauri was a freestyle skier.

Lauri reached the height of his skiing career in the late 1990s, competing at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games and the 1999 World Championships in the men’s moguls event.

After Lydia’s big triumph at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the couple decided it was time to try for children – although she was worried about the implications for her career.

“We would love to have a family,” she told Woman’s Day at the time.

“It’s difficult for female athletes, because you have to decide,” she divulged.

“I don’t want to leave it too late. It’s something we both want, so who knows? We may be able to squeeze a family in!”

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Lydia and Lauri planned to tote their kids between Australia and Finland. (Credit: Instagram)

At the time, Lydia and Lauri were living in Lydia’s native Melbourne, but were splitting their lives between Australia and Finland, Lauri’s home country, where he worked as an assistant coach to the Finnish national ski team.

“We’ll just transplant between Finland and Australia and the grandparents can take care of them,” Lydia said.

And that seems to be exactly what they’ve done. She gave birth to her eldest son, Kai, in 2011, and her youngest, Alek, in 2015 – and the two boys follow their globe-trotting parents wherever life takes them.

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The Lassila’s enjoying a Finnish Christmas. (Credit: Instagram)

The family moved to Finland from Lorne, Victoria, at the end of 2020.

They also recently enjoyed a Finnish Christmas, complete with snow and a real reindeer – which seems like the stuff of dreams. However, Lydia’s Instagram also shows them travelling in sunny Portugal.

She also shares the occasional throwback to Lorne, where they still own a home, now used as a holiday house for tourists.

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Lydia’s career has expanded since she retired from professional skiing. (Credit: Getty)

Prior to her move to Finland, and her commentary gig, Lydia dabbled in some reality TV.

Starting on Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders, Lydia went in as a member of the Champions Tribe.

“I think Survivor is a once in a lifetime experience and definitely a challenge. Just because I’m classified as a Champion, doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy ride for me,” she said on her way in.

“I’m looking for new challenges that will push me beyond my comfort zone and I think doing this will definitely be that!”

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Lydia competed in two seasons of Survivor. (Credit: 10)

Lydia made it to the halfway point on Survivor and was voted out 12th out of 24 castaways.

She returned for Survivor: All Stars in 2020, but also tried her hand at Ninja Warrior in 2019.

“I really like that feeling of being under pressure,” she admitted while competing on the obstacle-based game.

“I like feeling afraid,” she said.

Commentary is Lydia’s latest foray into the world of TV, one she celebrated the beginning of on Instagram.

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Lydia commentating in Beijing. (Credit: Instagram)

“Hey Mum, I’m going to my 6th Winter Olympics,” she wrote beside a video of herself playing in the Finnish snow.

“I’ve got to say, it will be the first Olympics that I’ll actually be able to go out and watch all the events and I’m pumped!” she admitted.

Lydia has since posted pictures of her arrival in Beijing.

You can catch the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Channel Seven from Friday, February 4.

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