Danielle Scott’s flying high ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics after her stunning return to aerial skiing competition following injury.
The 31-year-old will fly out of Sydney for Europe on Monday on a quest to make her third Games team and land an elusive Olympic medal.
Such a prospect seemed out of reach two years ago after a training fall resulted in a torn ACL.
But Scott returned with a bang in February, winning her first World Cup event in Utah.
She just missed the podium at the World Championships in Kazakhstan a few weeks later when she did the same high difficulty jump as winner, fellow Australian Laura Peel.
Scott looked to have stuck the landing of her triple-twisting triple somersault only to get turned around after her ski caught an edge, bumping her out of the medals.
As well as those results, she won two European Cup events and was fifth in another World Cup.
She told AAP the performances have given her confidence ahead of the Beijing Games, which open on February 4.
“It was an awesome comeback, that’s for sure, and definitely brought the confidence straight back into the game,” Scott said.
“The results last season were really good.
“It was a real bummer with the landing at the world championships because I would have ended up on the podium.”
While the other aerial team members went to Switzerland over winter, Scott opted to train at the new world-class Olympic sports facility in Brisbane, which offers multiple water ramps for the aerialists.
Due to COVID-19 border closures she had the facility to herself.
“The development aerial skiers and mogul guys went to the snow and then they couldn’t get across the border to Brisbane,” Scott said.
“It was very lonely – me by myself for two or three months – but when I’m in training mode no-one else really matters.”
Scott described the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang as a “big disappointment” for the entire women’s field, who had to compete in atrocious conditions.
“It was the lowest-scoring final in history,” she said.
“The first night of qualification I was in third and went straight through which was awesome but then the next night for finals was really tough.
“I’m glad I made the finals but (finishing 12th) it was nowhere near the performance I was after.”
She said she will have to nail the triple in Beijing to be in medal contention.
“Women’s aerials has progressed a lot in the last four years and you really have to be doing those triples just to be getting through the rounds and end up on the podium.
“A lot of girls are going to be chasing that jump and you will have to do it well.”