Aerial skier Scott lauds new Qld facility

Brisbane's Winter Olympics training centre has been a boon for aerial skier Danielle Scott.
Brisbane's Winter Olympics training centre has been a boon for aerial skier Danielle Scott.

The sunny climes of Queensland seems like an unlikely place to resurrect an aerial skiing career but thanks to a new winter sports training facility in Brisbane, Danielle Scott is now a genuine medal chance at her third Olympics.

Scott had hardly skied since the 2018 PyeongChang Games, where she finished 12th, taking a year off and then suffering a serious knee injury in her first week back on snow.

She missed two northern hemisphere winters and while she skied in Australia last year, there's no world-class jump site.

But the 31-year-old was able to use a new $6.5 million purpose-built facility in Brisbane, with ramps of varying heights, including take offs from 37m high, with skiers landing in a pool.

Officially opened on Wednesday, it's named after Geoff Henke, a former Olympian turned official who is credited with the awakening of winter sports in Australia.

Used by aerialists and mogul skiers, the athletes previously had to shift overseas to train off-snow.

Scott told AAP it was her saviour.

"I would have been in a really bad place, especially coming back from an injury," the two-time world championship medallist said.

"I wouldn't have been able to get back to where I am without it so having the water ramp on home soil was a crucial part of my training."

Linking up with the rest of the Australian team in Utah in February, Scott stunned the field by winning the World Cup event, which was her first competition since PyeongChang.

A month later at the world championships in Kazakhstan, Scott was in second after qualification and in the super final laid down a back Full-Full-Full jump - the most difficult jump attempted by female aerialists.

In fine form in the air, Scott looked to have stuck her landing only to get turned around after her ski caught an edge.

The Sydneysider finished fourth with teammate Laura Peel taking gold with the same jump to also move into Olympic medal favouritism in Beijing in February.

"To be able to do the jump in the world championships was pretty huge," Scott said.

"I did doubles in Deer Valley and then by the time I got to Kazakhstan I'd done some triples in the snow and felt ready to compete but it was very fresh and to almost land on the podium was pretty special."

Scott felt that with the uncertainty around COVID-19 and international competition, which could affect Olympic qualification, she needed to go all out.

"This season was all or nothing because the risk to go over and try to get points to qualify for the Olympics was huge.

"Making that decision was hard but I'm glad I went because the results were more than I could have imagined."

Australian Associated Press