Having never seen snow until the age of 19, in 2002 Alisa was the first Australian woman ever to win a Winter Olympic medal. Just a few seconds in the air saw the culmination of the better part of 20 years of planning, training, sacrifice, commitment and drive.
Starting out as a track n’field athlete, before turning to hockey, sailing and finally gymnastics, Alisa nomintated herself to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia in 1994. Arriving with a grand plan to achieve her Olympic goals, she worked five jobs to pay her bills and spent years overseas living and training hard before her champion debut at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.
Camplin would go on to back up that win by taking out the 2003 world championships and the 2002-03 World Cup title, making her the second person ever to hold aerial skiing’s triple crown.
‘In sport, one of my mantras was leave no regrets,’ she explains. ‘I never wanted to look back with regret that I hadn’t given it my all… to think, what if I’d just tried harder or done more jumps, found another dollar, or hung in there just a little bit longer?’
Absorbing the pressure of being the defending Olympic Champion, and despite having snapped her anterior cruciate ligament twice in the 16 months prior to the 2006 Winter Olympics, Alisa came away with a bronze medal – a true testament to her unwavering commitment and mental strength.
By the time she retired from competition shortly after those games, Camplin would have an impressive 19 World Cup podium medals and a Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s ‘The Don’ Award to her name. Just one year later she’d be awarded the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia.