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Alisa Camplin Retires

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SYDNEY, July 17 AAP - In the end it had little to do with the nine concussions, two knee reconstructions, broken collarbone, torn achilles and ankle fractures and more with a desire to simply do something else with her life.

Alisa Camplin announced her retirement through New Idea magazine today but the idea itself was hardly new.

After adding a surprise bronze medal from February's Winter Olympics in Turin to her gold won four years prior in Salt Lake City, Camplin had closely considered packing it all in - and now she's made it official.

``It occurred to me that there are so many other exciting things out there for me to do that it would be a shame to hang around and keep jumping,'' Camplin told AAP today.

``It turned out to be a no brainer for the head but I guess my heart was hanging on a lot longer than it took for me to actually work it out.''

The 31-year-old toyed with the idea of an Australian farewell appearance at the Mt Buller World Cup events in September but figured she'd achieved enough in the sport.

Few could argue.

She became Australia's first back-to-back Winter Olympics medallist in amazing circumstances after taking the radical step of having the tendon of a cadaver grafted onto her injured knee less than four months out from the Turin Games.

Written off by even the team doctor, who said it would be unrealistic to expect her to challenge for a medal in Turin, Camplin stunned everyone by scraping through qualifying and then executing two clean jumps in the final to finish third.

But the Victorian had made a habit of defying expectations in a stirling nine-year career that took off after the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Without a World Cup win before the Games in Salt Lake City, Camplin snuck in much under under the radar to snatch gold after teammate and favourite Jacqui Cooper was ruled out of the event following a training mishap.

It was later revealed Camplin had competed with what was effectively two broken ankles.

Any suggestions Australia's second ever Winter Olympics gold medallist's result would be a one-off were quickly scuppered as she went on to win the 2003 World Championships with a world record score and the overall World Cup title in 2003 and 2004.

Olympic Winter Institute (OWI) chief executive Geoff Lipshut described her as the kind of athlete that only came along ``very occasionally''.

``If you had the chance to do something that was life or death, or you wanted someone to take that last shot in a basketball game - anything like that - you'd want her to do it,'' he said.

``The words that spring to mind are mental strength, self belief and vision ... just imagine what she could have achieved in a more controllable sport.''


Thanks for the memories, Alisa! You've done more than anyone top give Oz some winter olympics credibility.


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