Camplin red-hot to get flagbearer nod - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Camplin red-hot to get flagbearer nod

By Glenn Cullen 09/02/2006 06:06:44 AM Comments (0)

Defending freestyle aerials champion Alisa Camplin is almost certain to be named flagbearer for the Australian team at a ceremony in Turin on Thursday.

With aerials teammate four-time Olympian Jacqui Cooper skipping the opening ceremony to continue training in the US ahead of their event starting February 19, 31-year-old Camplin is essentially the only choice the Australian Olympic Committee can make.

Camplin is one of 11 Australians in the team with prior Games experience but more importantly she secured her country's second ever Winter Olympics gold medal when she won in Salt Lake City four years ago.

Cooper, who was thought to be behind Camplin in the pecking order for flagbearer anyway, has previously embraced the pre Games lifestyle to the full but in terms of results it hasn't served her well.

In 1998 in Nagano she landed on her head in competition as a strong medal prospect and then in 2002 the outright favourite blew out her knee in training.

For her fourth and final Games tilt she has adopted a decidedly more laid back approach in the lead-up.

"She just wants to get away from the hype of it all," Australia's chef de mission Ian Chesterman said of Cooper.

"It's worked for other athletes - Zali Steggall (slalom bronze medallist) stayed away in '98 and Alisa didn't go to the opening ceremony in 2002 - she just thinks it's a good idea."

Chesterman said Cooper hadn't had much jumping in recent days with bad weather at Lake Placid but was hoping to squeeze in some more training before she arrives in Italy on Saturday.

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