Jacqui Cooper – Freestyle Skiing Champion
In the freestyle skiing world, Jacqui Cooper is a legend. She is known as one of the best freestyle skiers in Australia, and has the trophies and victories to support the claim. Jacqui Cooper was born in Melbourne, Australia, on 6 January 1973 and started showing off her natural talent in aerial skiing from the tender age of sixteen. Her magnificent abilities on the slopes have secured her place in the Australian team for thirteen consecutive years and she has overcome setbacks, disappointments and injuries to remain one the best aerial skiing champions of the world.
The Olympic Winter Institute of Australia has described Jacqui Cooper as being the “greatest winner in the woman’s World Cup aerial skiing history”, and with fifteen World Cup victories, of which three World Cup titles were won consecutively in 1999, 2000 and 2001, it is a very appropriate comment. In 2002 she suffered a devastating knee injury at the Salt Lake Winter Games, and was not seen competing for two years, as she dealt with the operations to repair the damage and to get back into training after her knee had healed. Cooper hit the slopes again in 2004, for the Mount Buller World Aerials, where she won a silver medal and slowly got back into the world of competitive skiing.
With her sights set on the 2010 Winter Olympics, Jacqui Cooper has started 2008 on the right foot by winning her third aerial skiing contest of the season at Lake Placid on 20 January 2008 and raking in another win at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver. Mastering and perfecting the triple jumps that she became known for, Cooper has been working hard to perfect the triple-twister and the quadruple-twisting triple somersault.
Some the awards and trophies that have been received by Cooper include the Australian Snow Sports Athlete of the Year for 1999 and 2000, the Victorian (Sport) Young Australian of the Year, the Special Achievement Award Australian Snow Sports Award in 1997 and 1998, and the Australian Freestyle Skier of the Year for 1998, 1999 and 2000.
For now, Jacqui Cooper has set aside her thoughts of retirement, and has chosen to carry on entertaining the spectators with breathtaking moves and bringing home a few more trophies before hanging up her skis. As a leading aerial skier and role model, Jacqui Cooper has inspired young skiers and encouraged those suffering from injuries and setbacks to carry on fighting and never give up on their dreams.