Danielle Scott | Always Human
Freestyle Aerial Skier
The Aussie Surfer girl who became a winter sports star
Danielle Scott’s story is unique and one built on the underdog spirit with a desire to be the best in her sport.
A talented gymnast, Danielle was the youngest ever recipient of an AIS scholarship in Australia when she was just seven years old.
Danielle’s successful career in gymnastics soon became limited within a program unable to support her Olympic dream, and she was left with little option but to leave the sport she loved at the age of 13.
Three years later, Danielle caught the eye of five-time Winter Olympian, Jacqui Cooper, who was on a recruitment drive to bring more females into the sport of Aerial Skiing.
There was one hurdle – Danielle had never skied before.
With an ambition to fulfil her childhood dream of going to the Olympics, this summer loving surfer girl studied the sport intensely. She showed a new perseverance to train as hard as her competitors that allowed her to compete at an elite level and dominate in a sport that was foreign to her.
In 2012, Danielle was named the FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year and won bronze the following year in the 2013 FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Voss, Norway. A year later, she realised her Olympic dream in Sochi with a finish in the top 10.
Fast forward to 2017, and Danielle held the highly regarded world #1 ‘yellow bib’ for the entire World Cup season. She also finished with Silver at the World Championships in Spain’s Sierra Nevada.
In 2018, Danielle was selected for her second Winter Olympics, and was the only Australian Aerial Skier to jump their way directly into the Olympic Final.
After taking an extended layoff period after tearing her ACL in a training accident leading into the 2019/20 World Cup season, Danielle made an incredible comeback in February 2021 – claiming gold at the FIS World Cup in Utah.
Continuing the success of her 2021 season, Danielle won gold at the FIS Freestyle Aerial Skiing World Cup in Finland, where she also secured her 5th World Cup victory in her career.
Following the win, Danielle qualified for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, which was her third Olympic Games appearance.
During the summer months, Danielle trains on water ramps that are designed to simulate the snow jumps.
Training days are long – with a warm up and landing drill session in the morning; two sessions of water ramping (roughly 20 single back flip jumps or 8-15 double/triple back flip jumps per session); a gym workout; video review and recovery.
The summer season is a huge part of Danielle’s annual training regime as it provides her the chance to perfect new jumps into water before landing them on snow.
Previously she has had to train out of the Utah Olympic Park facility in the US from June to September. However, this all changed in 2020.
Queensland is now home to the southern hemisphere’s first year-round freestyle ski-jumping facility built at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Brisbane. This will be a huge development for the sport in Australia and for Danielle as well, who is excited to be able to train on home soil