Jacqui Cooper has represented Australia in the sport of Aerial Skiing for 20 years.
Her career started in 1989 at Mt Buller when she was recruited by Geoff Lipshut (CEO of the OWIA) to join the Techne Team. Within 3 years she was already representing her country at the World Championships in Lake Placid New York; by 1994 she competed at the Lillehammer Winter Olympics. In 1999, just 10 years after starting her sport she became a World Champion; the next 10 years would see her dominate and revolutionize her sport.
In a very long and decorated career she has competed in 139 World Cup Events, 9 World Championships and been selected to 5 Winter Olympic Teams. When Jacqui competed in Vancouver in February 2010 she became the 1st Australian Woman in history (Summer or Winter Olympics) to represent Australia at 5 Games.
Her record 5 world titles, 39 World Cup medals, 24 World Cup wins and 3 major World Championship medals has left Jacqui as the greatest Aerial skier of all time (man or woman); an achievement that will go unbeaten for decades.
Her sport is unforgiving; she has had knee, elbow, shoulder and hip reconstructions. In 2001 she broke her back in an attempt to win a record 3rd World Title; she went on and won it. In 2002 at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics she injured her knee and broke her leg just 2 days before the Olympic competition ending years of dreaming, willing and wanting.
This year, Jacqui competed in Vancouver after a year of intense hip and knee rehabilitation; she shocked doctors and surgeons by her will, inner strength and courage to make a brave attempt to be competitive at those games. She spent most of the months leading into the Olympics in a wheel chair, learning to walk again, and gaining confidence in a sport that is brutal and cruel. She stunned her rivals, coaches, and team mates when she came 5th; her best Olympic result in the 20 years.
In between training and competing in events Jacqui devotes much of her time to various Sporting Committees around the world making sure she can be a voice for her peers at a National and International level .
Over 2 decades she has spent time on the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Board, the AOC Athlete's Commission (Deputy Chair), Ski and Snowboard Australia Board, the Australian Institute of Sport Athletes Commission, the International Ski Federation (FIS) Athletes Committee, the FIS Freestyle Athletes Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athlete's Committee and the WADA education committee.
In 2001 the AOC involved Jacqui in their national Drug Education program as a key presenter, her interest, knowledge and passion for clean sport made her a wonderful asset to that program. She lectured kids in schools, state sporting institutes, regional sporting academies, national federations, international athletes competing at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival and athletes at Australian Institute of Sport.
Jacqui's passion is education; the education to children and teenagers about living a healthy lifestyle, making smart choices, nutrition, being young role models, dreaming BIG, being active and goal setting. Jacqui speaks to Primary, Secondary, and Universities/TAFE students . She has also travelled to remote aboriginal communities as far as Darwin and beyond spending time promoting all things healthy with a heavy focus on "SAY NO" to alcohol, petrol sniffing and smoking.
Over 20 years Jacqui has won many awards in recognition for her achievements in sport and for her involvement in the community. During her career she was honoured as the Victorian "Young Australian of the Year" for Sport, Victorian Sports Woman of the year and Ski and Snowboard Athlete of the year. Her most recent award was the "Governor's Award", presented to her at the Vic Sports Awards in 2008 for being a role model, a champion, and a woman who is successful in sport and life.
Jacqui's story is one of self belief, passion, triumph, tragedy and the ability to overcome adversity.
2008 World Cup Champion - Aerials
2007 World Cup Champion - Aerials
2001 World Cup Overall Champion - Freestyle Skiing World Cup Champion - Aerials
2000 World Cup Overall Champion - Freestyle Skiing World Cup Champion - Aerials
1999 World Champion – Aerials World Cup Overall Champion - Freestyle Skiing World Cup Champion - Aerials
2010 Vancouver, CANADA
2006 Torino, ITALY
2002 Salt Lake City, USA
1998 Nagano, JAPAN
1994 Lillehammer, NORWAY
Elected to the WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) Athlete Committee Elected to the WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) Education Committee
2008 – Australian Snow Sports Athlete of the Year
– "Governor's Award" Victorian Female of the Year
– Victorian Institute of Sport "Spirit Award"
– Freestyle Skier of the Year
2007 – Special Achievement Australian Snow Sports Award
2001 – Special Achievement Australian Snow Sports Award
2000 – Australian Skier of the Year 2000 – Australian Snow Sports Athlete of the Year
– Victorian Sports Woman of the Year
– Freestyle Skier of the Year 1999
– Victorian (Sport) - Young Australian of the Year
– Australian Snow Sports Athlete of the Year
– Freestyle Skier of the Year 1998
– Freestyle Skier of the Year
– Special Achievement Australian Snow Sports Award 1997
– Special Achievement Australian Snow Sports Award
“It has helped us to keep driving forward and overcoming challenges when things appear to get jammed in our business. She delivered such a powerful message to the team".
Vision - National Sales Manager
“Jacqui was fantastic. I knew she was a wonderful athlete but I never knew the extent of her courage and strength. I loved listening to Jacqui and hearing about her story. Very inspiring."
Pricewaterhouse Coopers - Professional services firm
“La Trobe Financial is proud to have been Jacqui’s lead Sponsor for the past three(3) years as she embodies all the attributes and hallmarks of wonderful Australian sportswomen and International Champion. She is modest, warm and sincere and has an unparalleled ability to communicate her message to a whole host of age groups that we employ from 18 to 50+. This five time Olympian is one in a billion, and an opportunity to hear from her real life injury come backs time and time again, as well as her World cup achievements should never be missed."
La Trobe Financial Corporation
"Jacqui Cooper is a true legend. She did not win a medal but her performance in finishing 5th in the women’s freestyle aerial event epitomised all that is so great about Australian sport."
Australian Sports Commission
“I have heard Jacqui speak on about 3 occasions and each time I have been inspired by her story. I have witnessed the effect on the audience, she has them spellbound as she talks about her achievements and the incredible challenges she has overcome with injuries etc. yet still bounce back to the top. The most important take away for me is that you can reach incredible heights and then incredible lows but if you want something enough, and if you are passionate enough and single minded enough to pursue it – it will happen! "
Mary Kay Cosmetics, Australia/New Zealand