Lydia Lassila OAM is one of the seven new inductees and stands as one of Australiaâs most decorated Winter Olympic athletes. Her stellar career in aerial skiing culminated in a gold and bronze medal, becoming the first Australian female to compete in five Winter Games.
Lassilaâs journey was marked by resilience, including a near career-ending knee injury in Torino 2006, but she persevered to win gold in Vancouver 2010. Her daring attempts, like the quad-twisting triple somersault in Sochi 2014, left an indelible mark on the sport, and she made history as the first Australian woman to compete in five Winter Olympics at PyeongChang 2018.
âWhat I used to do in my sporting career now feels quite distant," Lassila said. "Life has moved on I suppose pretty quickly, with family and living in a new country.
"Itâs nice to be reminded that I used to be an aerial skier, and I did some really cool things in my career and achieved a lot.
"The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Award has always been a huge inspiration for me through hearing other athletesâ stories and journeys in their careers.â
The inductees will be honoured at a Sport Australia Hall of Fame event to be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on October 16.
The honour roll of induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame features the nationâs biggest sporting names and champions, including Sir Donald Bradman AC, Dawn Fraser AC MBE, Cathy Freeman OAM, Ian Thorpe AM, E.J. âTedâ Whitten OAM, Raelene Boyle AM MBE, Wally Lewis AM, Shane Gould OAM MBE, Sir Jack Brabham AO OBE, Greg Norman AO, Lauren Jackson AO, John Eales AM, Susie OâNeill AM, Rod Laver AC MBE, Bart Cummings AM, Louise Sauvage OAM and Layne Beachley AO, among other luminaries.
Those who are inducted into this elite group are our nationâs leading champions. They have not only excelled in their chosen field, but have done so with dignity, integrity, courage, modesty, pride and ambition.
Membership as an Athlete Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame is limited exclusively to the top echelon of Australian athletes who have all achieved the highest honours at the peak level of competition. Each year the Selection Committee picks the newest Hall of Famers to join their fellow top echelon of Australian leaders.
Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chair, Bruce McAvaney OAM said: "In a year where the drama of sport has held us captive as a nation, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame welcomes six elite athletes and a coach whoâve left an indelible mark in their field.
"Every one of this yearâs inductees has been instrumental in providing this country with unforgettable moments â whether it be at summer or winter Olympics, rugby league State of Origin or footballâs World Cup.
"It doesnât get any bigger or better than that. Diverse in their sporting prowess, each has excelled over a lifetime, paving the way for those who follow and stamping their own mark on history."
The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards program is sponsored by the Australia Sports Commission and the Australian Institute of Sport and proudly supported by Sportscover and Victoria University.
2023 SAHOF Inductees
- Lydia Lassila OAM (Aerial Skiing)
- Tim Cahill AO (Football)
- Nova Peris (Athletics & Hockey)
- Tim McLaren (Rowing)
- Kim Brennan AM (Rowing)
- Kurt Fearnley AO (Para-Athletics)
- Johnathan Thurston AM (Ruby League)