While the world’s attention is focused on Rio and the Summer Olympics, one of Australia’s most accomplished athletes is hard at work in Switzerland, training for the 2018 Winter
Olympics. The Will to Fly is a feature documentary based on the life of the extraordinary Lydia Lassila and it’s showing at the Drill Hall, Mullumbimby on Friday August 26.
After winning a Gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 with a world record score still held today, Lydia Lassila – who has also since
become a mother – returned
to the sport with a burning ambition to become the first woman to perform the most complex acrobatic manoeuvre of any acrobatic sport, a quadruple twisting, triple somersault on skis at the Sochi Olympics.
The Will to Fly is an inspiring documentary about Lydia’s journey to reach personal fulfilment by achieving her true potential on the world stage at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. As a young gymnast, Lydia’s Olympic aspirations were set and then dashed by injuries and missed opportunities. Aerial skiing provided a second chance opportunity to realize her dream – and create many new ones. Through an experimental roller-coaster career of guts and perseverance, she turned some major setbacks into fuel for an all-mighty comeback.
Aerial skiing is always one of the most popular spectator events at the Olympics, no doubt due to the thrilling nature of the acrobatics involved, and the film includes many scenes of nail biting suspense. It is also however, a film about the inherent difficulties of being a mature athlete raising a family whilst making time for training. It is also a reflection on the problems women face in sport and generating interest in women’s achievements on the sporting field.
In June this year Lydia Lassila was in Lennox Head as NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres confirmed that a world class winter training facility featuring a ski jump over an Olympic size pool will be built at Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre. She is thrilled that when the Lennox Head facility opens Australian athletes will no longer have to spend months training in Europe and North America, away from families and work. “We train on water ramp facilities for about six months of the year, so it’s where we get to learn and refine our tricks,” she says. The Will to Fly was shown to NSW politicans as part of the campaign to secure funding for the facility. Says Lydia, “I hope this film inspires people of all ages and genders to find a passion in life and live that passion.”
The Will To Fly is a compelling account of an extraordinary woman’s drive to chase her ambitions and fulfil her greatest dreams. It screens at the Mullumbimby Drill Hall on Friday August 26th. Tickets $17/$15 are available at the Mullum Bookshop or email to [email protected]. Doors open at 6.30pm for soup, chai and cakes, film screens at 7.30pm.