Alisa captivated the world and made history through the triumph of quiet dedication. To win the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the 5-foot-2-inch Australian landed two triple twisting double somersaults. She out-jumped the world record holder, reigning World Cup (WC) Grand Prix Champion and the World Champion to become our new Olympic Champion. Unlike those within the Winter Sport fraternity, most of the Australian public was taken by surprise. However, there was collective pride (and tears) for Australia's humble little hero, as she jumped for joy during her gold medal presentation in Salt Lake City.
After winning the Olympic title in 2002, Alisa had two phenomenal seasons competing with unforgettable consistency and excellence. By the end of the 2002/03 season Alisa became the reigning World Record Holder, World Champion and the WC Grand Prix Champion! There is only one other woman in the history of the sport who has held all three titles (Olympic, World & WC) at the same time - “The Triple Crown”. Alisa’s World Record performance to take out the World Championship title exemplified her courage and commitment to win, when a serious training accident required x-rays to clear her of a broken neck the day prior to the event.
In 2003/04, Alisa won her second consecutive aerial skiing WC Grand Prix title after claiming seven victories, two silver medals, and one bronze medal. Alisa made the podium 15 times in 20 consecutive World Cup events and became only the third woman in freestyle skiing history to claim seven victories in one season.
At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, Alisa claimed a remarkable bronze medal, becoming the first person in history to win back to back Olympic aerial medals. Many had written Alisa off when she required reconstructive knee surgery 14 months before the Games, but especially so when she tragically re-injured her knee just four months prior to Turin. After allograft reconstructive surgery to replace her previously repaired anterior cruciate ligament, Alisa made an exceptional recovery, stunning the medical world with her miraculous and speedy return to the slopes. She was back on skis jumping at 56 days and completed World Cup event qualifications for the Olympics just 3 months post surgery! No one can deny Alisa’s famed ‘mental toughness’.
Few know about Alisa's path to glory, including her ongoing quest for perfection, unwavering commitment and multiple injury comebacks (including two broken ankles, nine concussions, a broken collarbone, a broken hand, a separated shoulder, multiple cracked ribs, a torn Achilles tendon and two snapped anterior cruciate ligaments). Alisa is the first to admit that preparation is the key to success and it was all worth it to become Australia’s first-ever female and first-ever snow sport Winter Olympic gold medalist, duel Olympic medalist, World Champion, World Record Holder and two times WC Grand Prix Champion. Which is all the more special, given Alisa only learnt to ski at 19!
After carrying the Australian Flag and leading the Australian team at her second Olympic Games, Alisa was happy to hang up her boots and retire after a decade chasing the snow. She is still very involved with Australian sport, sitting on the Board of the Australian Sports Commission (Chairman of the Audit Committee), the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia and Sport 4 the Environment. When she’s not delivering key note speeches or running high performance corporate employee programs, Alisa can be found at IBM Australia were she has resumed her 12 year career as Manager of the Multi Vendor Maintenance and Technical Support business.
Australian Ski Team
- 8 Years
- 1998/99 to 2005/06
- 54 World Cup Events
- 3rd, Turin, Italy, 2006 (Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer)
- 1st, Salt Lake City, USA, 2002
- 1st, Salt Lake City, USA, 2003
- 11th, Whistler, Canada, 2001
- 7th, Merringen, Switzerland, 1999
World Cup Grand Prix Title
- 1st, 2003-2004
- 1st, 2002-2003
- 5th, 2000-2001
- 6th, 1999-2000
- 15th, 1998-1999
World Cup Event Results (% of total events)
- Gold: 10 (18.5%)
- Silver: 5 (9.25%)
- Bronze: 4 (7.4%)
- Podium Total: 19 (35.15%)
- Top 5s: 27 (50%)
- Top 10s: 33 (61%)
- Top 20s: 49 (90.75%)
- Total: 54
2006 - Order of Australia Medal
2004 - Victorian Sports Person of the Year
2004 - Victorian Sportswoman of the Year
2004 - Australian Skier of the Year
2003 - VIS Award of Excellence
2002 - The 'Don' Award (Athlete who most inspired the nation)
2002 - Female Athlete of the Year
2002 - The Centenary Medal
2002 - Victorian Sports Person of the Year
2002 - Victorian Sportswoman of the Year