Student news

Date published: 27 January 2012

Open Universities Australia (OUA) today congratulates Winter Olympic Gold Medallist and OUA Education Ambassador Lydia Lassila for being honoured with an Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to sport.

Stuart Hamilton, CEO of OUA says "Lydia is an outstanding athlete that manages to fit study, motherhood and running a business around her demanding sporting career."

"In her capacity as an Education Ambassador, Lydia also shares her OUA online study experience to help others go further than they ever thought possible with tertiary education.

"This prestigious honour could not have gone to a more deserving person," says Mr Hamilton.

According to Lydia Lassila, "My goals have been Olympic gold and world titles, but you don't think about receiving something as prestigious as an OAM. It is a great acknowledgment of the lifetime I have dedicated to my sport and I am very honoured to receive it. I am celebrating while training in Utah with face paint, flags and Aussie beer!"

Lassila started a Bachelor of Business degree with OUA and set up her own business, Body Ice in 2005 after being forced out of competition due to injury. 

Speaking about the reason why she chose to study online with OUA, Lydia says: "I just enjoy learning and I pick and choose to study the subjects that will help me run a successful business." 

Lydia won Gold for aerial skiing at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and is now in preparation for chasing glory again at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. She has also been instrumental in the establishment of a new training facility in Brisbane to help those aspiring champions of the future.

Along with this Order of Australia (OAM) honour, Lydia has also become one of Australia's most awarded athletes of recent years, having gained the following accolades:

  • 2010 Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year
  • 2010 Ski and Snowboard Association Athlete of the Year
  • 2010 Sport Australia Hall of Fame 'DON' Award for Australia's Greatest Sporting Achievement of 2010 
  • 2010 Governor's Award for Victorian Sportsperson of the Year 
  • 2010 Victorian Female Athlete of the Year - Kitty McEwan Award 
  • 2010 Victorian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year  

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