#AllezAUS 'Let's Go Australia'
Sport: Freestyle Skiing
Olympic History: Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018, Beijing 2022
Highlights: 2x World Championships gold, gold at 2022 Deer Valley World Cup, Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer
Coach: Michel Roth
Year Born: 1989
State Born: ACT
With a strong skiing and gymnastics background, aerials proved the perfect fit for triple Olympian Laura Peel. The Canberran was identified by Jacqui Cooper as a potential star of the sport in 2007 and four years later she made her debut on the World Cup circuit.
After excellent performances in her first World Cup events, including a top-12 finish, Laura went on to compete at her first World Championships in Deer Valley, USA where she placed 11th. The following season she claimed her first World Cup victory and in doing so became the fifth Australian female to win an aerial skiing World Cup.
The talented athlete continued her strong performances throughout 2013, scoring a second-place finish at the Sochi Olympic test event. In 2014 she made her Olympic debut at the placed 7th.
A year later Laura claimed her first World Championship victory in Kreischberg, Austria edging out the USA’s Kiley McKinnon by 0.35 points.
After missing a season due to injury, Laura returned in top form for 2016-17 . A streak of great performances prepared Laura for a return to the podium in early 2017 in Moscow, Russia with a bronze medal. She went on to compete at her third World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain where she placed 8th.
Just weeks out from her second Olympic Games, Laura secured back-to-back podiums in Lake Placid, USA.
At PyeongChang 2018 she was the highest placed Australian in the women’s aerials finals. Performing a back double full-full in the super final, she unfortunately backslapped the landing which caused her to miss the podium in fifth place.
Laura went on to claim her second World Cup victory during the 2018-19 season and ultimately finished the season ranked third in the world.
After introducing triple back somersaults into competition for the first time, the 2019-20 season was a huge success for Laura. She took home four World Cup medals, including two victories, as well as the coveted Crystal Globe as the number one ranked aerial skier in the world.
With her incredibly consistent and beautifully performed triple somersaults, Laura continued to dominate the World Cup circuit in the 2020-21 season. She claimed another four World Cup medals, including two gold, and her second consecutive Crystal Globe as number one in the world.
At the 2021 World Championships, Laura won her second World Championships gold medal and became Australia’s first aerial skiing double world champion.
On the eve of the Beijing 2022 Olympics, Laura completed one of the best jumps of all-time in women’s aerials. Her near perfect full-full-full triple scored 118.05 points to win gold at the Deer Valley Aerials World Cup in Utah, USA.
Only one day prior, Laura became the third woman ever to land a quadruple twisting backflip on snow.
She got the nod with Brendan Kerry to be an Australian Opening Ceremony Flag Bearer at Beijing, following in the illustrious footsteps of another aerialist Alisa Camplin who carried the flag at Turin 2006.
"It's really hard to put into words how it feels to be selected as Flag Bearer for this incredible team," Laura said.
"It's such an honour and I'm truly grateful and so humbled to be able to lead the team into Opening Ceremony. Honestly, it feels like a dream."
Laura finished qualifying at Beijing 2022 with the highest scoring jump. Her 104.54 was just one of two 100+ scores in qualifying.
In final one she scraped in a landing on her second jump to qualify for the super final in fourth position.
An unfortunate crash landing in the super final ended her night in fifth position.