Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Cooper, Jacqui (1973 - )

Born
6 January 1973
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Skiier

Summary

Described as 'the greatest winner in women's World Cup aerial skiing history' by the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, Jacqui Cooper has eighteen World Cup events to her name. She won three World Cup titles in consecutive years between 1999 and 2001.

Details

Jacqui Cooper began skiing at the age of sixteen. She competed at the Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994 (placed 16th) and Nagano, Japan, in 1998 (placed 23rd). In 1999 she won the World Championships at Meiringen, Switzerland. Between 1999 and 2001 she won the World Cup title every year.

Severely injured with a shattered knee while training a week before the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002, Cooper couldn't compete in the Games. After a long recovery process she made a come-back at the Mt Buller World Aerials in 2004, winning silver. Cooper went to the Winter Olympics in Torino in 2006 having clocked up 113 World Cup starts; 81 World Cup top ten results; 28 World Cup podiums; and 15 World Cup victories. She came first in the qualifications, but 8th in the finals, and suspended plans for retirement until her results better reflected her abilities.

By the 2006/07 season, Cooper was clearly in top form. At the World Cup in Mont Gabriel, Quebec, she scored 116.64, beating her own world record of 114.81, set just a fortnight earlier at Park City, Utah. Had she been competing in the men's competition, with these scores Cooper would have been placed second at Utah and fifth at Mont Gabriel. The first woman to do the triple-twisting triple somersault, Cooper intends not only to continue competing but to master the very difficult quadruple-twisting triple somersault and the triple-twister. She is considering competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Cooper's awards include Victorian Sportswoman of the Year 2000; Victorian (Sport) Young Australian of the Year; Female Victorian of the Year; Australian Snow Sports Athlete of the Year (1999 and 2000); Australian Freestyle Skier of the Year (1998, 1999, 2000); Special Achievement Award Australian Snow Sports Awards 1997/98.

Sources used to compile this entry: www.olympics.com.au/athletes; http://torino.olympics.com.au/index.cfm?p=258 (Jacqui Cooper discusses the lead-up to the Winter Olympics in Torino); http://www.wintersports.com.au/sports.cfm?SportID=1 (Cooper and aerial skiing news).

Barbara Lemon

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