3 amazing life lessons from Olympic Legend Jacqui Cooper

Aug 25 22:28 2022 Matt Anson Print This Article

What we learned from Jacqui Cooper's inspirational conference speech: 3 amazing life lessons that made her a World Champion.

3 Amazing Life Lessons from a World Champion

What kind of person decides to devote their life to becoming world champion at aerial skiing?

You know,Guest Posting that crazy sport that involves strapping yourself to skis and hurling yourself into the air as high as a three-storey building at 80kms an hour? While doing air breakdancing and then attempting to land again?

According to Jacqui Cooper, winner of 24 World Cup gold medals and first Australian woman to make five Olympic teams, to be the aerial skiing world champion you need to be 3 things:

  1. Competitive
  2. Acrobatic
  3. A little bit crazy (or a lot crazy)

In her barnstorming, funny, and incredibly inspiring keynote at the SL22 Conference, Jacqui Cooper said all of these character traits were obvious very early in her life.

  1. As the first born of triplets she won the “race” to be born,
  2. she has always been obsessed with acrobatics,
  3. As a toddler she climbed onto the roof rack of her parent’s moving car, and they didn’t notice until they got home.

These character traits led to a chance encounter that would alter the course of her life.

 

A chance encounter leads to lifelong mentor

Every single day for five years, Jacqui would do her two sister’s homework if they agreed to accompany her to a local park with an Olympic sized trampoline that she would practice on for 15 minutes. Every. Single. Day.

That’s a massive commitment, not just to trampolining but also to homework!

But this daily routine led to a chance encounter with a man who she describes as “complete blend between Mr Miagi and Yoda” who would become her lifelong mentor. This man’s vision for Jacqui would change the course of her life.

 Full of excitement after that first encounter she (without prior approval) invited him over for dinner the next evening to meet and convince her parents.

A Destination and a roadmap

When he arrived the following day he was carrying a ten-page document that he had typed out the day before after his chance first encounter with Jacqui. Each page of the document represented a year of his plan for Jacqui, and what level of skill and performance she would be at .

On year ten it said.”you will be 26, you will go to the world championships and do skills that no one has ever done before. You’ll get a score of 200, which will be a world record AND you’ll be a world champion”

That ten-age document became an integral part of Jacqui's life. On his instructions Jacqui read that 10 page roadmap every single day for the next 10 years. She would read it first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

“I made an unwavering commitment to those 10 pieces of paper”

Flash forward 10 years, at the age of 26 years of age. Jacqui goes to the world championships, does the exact skills that “Jeff” had predicted 10 years earlier. Her score? 198.7 (he guessed 200)

Jacqui's story is a reminder of the importance and life-altering affect that having a mentor can have on a person’s life. Jacqui had all the ingredients to be a successful aerial skier and world champion, but she needed the recipe and that’s what “Jeff” gave her. Being a world champion was just the destination, he gave her a roadmap.

Overcoming Adversity

Committing her life to the roadmap laid out in those 10 pieces of paper meant overcoming adversity, and for Jacqui suffered horrendous injuries that would have forced most people out of the sport. Few other athletes have endured a greater physical and mental toll than Jacqui. Bruce McAvaney, one of the most recognisable and respected Olympics commentators, sums up the adversity that injury Jacqui has endured, and overcome.

“A broken back, reconstructions to shoulders knees and elbows, her face broken in four places. A fractured tibia and hips”

Bruce McAvaney considers Jacqui's career "one of the most inspiring and remarkable stories I’ve encountered”.

We agree.

And we were privileged to hear that inspiring and remarkable story from the champion herself.

 It is impossible to not be impressed by Jacqui Cooper. She is very funny, a great story teller, and incredibly engaging with the crowd. Even though 99.99% of us will never attempt aerial skiing, there is something very universal about her theme of overcoming adversity. She had a destination and she didn't let anyone or thing stop her from getting there.

Not injury. Not people telling her to quit. Not having her hip fused so that she couldn't lie down for SIX weeks.

Seriously. Imagine sleeping upright in a chair for six weeks!

If she can do that, then maybe we can all suffer a bit more in pursuit of our own dreams. Our own destination.

3 amazing life lessons. Why Jacqui’s speech really resonates with us

  1. Mentor = Guide. Jacqui had her Mr. Miagi/Yoda mentor who was able to guide her to a destination that she couldn't see yet. Be the guide is one of the core values of STAFFLINK. Jacqui's story really reaffirmed to us the life-changing benefits that having a mentor or guide can give you.
  2. Roadmap = You don't just need a destination, you also need a roadmap on how to get there. We can help you by mapping out all the steps and stages involved in reaching your goal.
  3. Overcoming Adversity = we have a growing community of people who have faced the same adversities as you. Every type of adversity that you can face in real estate has been faced by someone before. Don't face it alone, together we can learn faster.

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Matt Anson
Matt Anson

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