Five-time Olympian, Triumph over adversity
Jacqui Cooper has represented Australia in the sport of Aerial Skiing for over 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 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 revolutionise her sport.
In a very long and decorated career Jacqui Cooper 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 first 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.
Jacqui Cooper's 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.
In 2010, 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 wheelchair, learning to walk again, and gaining confidence in a sport that is brutal and cruel. She stunned her rivals, coaches, and teammates when she came 5th; her best Olympic result in 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. 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 for children and teenagers on 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. In 2008 she was presented with the 'Governor's Award' at the Vic Sports Awards 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.
Since 2010, Jacqui has been La Trobe Financial' s Company Ambassador.
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.
Price Waterhouse Coopers
Everyone was thoroughly impressed with Jacqui’s presentation. She was personable and really connected with our attendees. We had a lot of positive feedback after the event.
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
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.
CEO Australian Sports Commission
In May 2010 Jacqui Cooper stepped in at the last minute to be the key note speaker for our annual conference. With slightly more than 48 hours to prepare, Jacqui proved just what a champion she is. Her presentation did what many other champion sports personalities fail to do. She very clearly and concisely married together what is required to be successful in sport with what is necessary to be successful in business. Jacqui's life story and the examples she gave demonstrated that to be a champion in sport and in business you have to have a plan, both short and long term. You have to have persistence. You must be dedicated. You must train both the mind and the body and most important of all you must be prepared to go beyond what is regarded as the norm. I have no hesitation in recommending Jacqui Cooper to any company or organization looking for a key note speaker who can marry together what is required to be successful in sport and business whilst at the same time be very professional and very entertaining.
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.
Jacqui’s life story is one of self-belief, passion, and the ability to overcome adversity. Most of our group knew of Jacqui’s sporting triumphs, but none of us knew of the story behind this remarkable Australian. Life is full of opportunities, chances, half chances, successes, and failures. Jacqui demonstrates perfectly how one is best measured by how they react and deal with such challenges. Jacqui brings to her presentation all the qualities that made her a world champion. The passion, the raw ability, and that touch of craziness all come through in what is both an inspiring and entertaining presentation. This is more than a presentation, it is a life force experience.
Jacqui Cooper is one of the most enthusiastic key note speakers I have heard to date. Her story engaged, motivated and inspired our audience of 200+ Flight Centre Ltd employees. Jacqui’s self belief, commitment, perseverance and work ethic (with a clear action plan) can be applied to anyone both personally and professionally. An Aussie success who delighted our crowd with her passion and energetic message..... definitely the high-light of our conference.
Flight Centre Ltd
Jacqui Cooper was the most inspirational speaker I have heard from. I found Jacqui's presentation incredibly moving, inspirational and at the same time humorous and I don't think I have ever understood the capacity of a human for resilience, persistence or drive until I met Jacqui. The pace was breathtaking but she kept us on the edge of our seats for the entire time dying to find out what more could possibly happen to her. Her presentational skills are second to none and I was moved by her story. Jacqui was well received at our conference and a standing ovation was the ultimate gift of a speaker – she received it with pride from our 81 attendees. It was amazing to watch. Certainly true to say that persistence pays off tenfold and more.........We will definitely utilise her for future conferences.
Jacqui Cooper has a great story to tell, and she tells it with great humility, humour and “down to earthedness” that is rare amongst those high profile successful sportspeople that tread the speaking circuit. We found Jacqui to be totally professional in her dealings with us as she prepared a presentation that was absolutely spot-on for the purpose we invited her for – she does her homework and really listened to what we were after." "The response from our leadership group who were fortunate enough to be there for Jacqui’s session quite surpasses any that we’ve had before – they found her to be engaging and utterly approachable, and her story absolutely struck a chord that was totally aligned to the work we had them engaged in. We have already booked Jacqui to come and do more work with us, and I have no hesitation in recommending her to you if you’re after a really authentic, entertaining and professional speaker with a great message that shows people they can do whatever they set their minds to!