"Our Kind Of Girl" Danielle Scott Opens Up About Her Journey So Far | Men's Health Magazine Australia

“Our Kind Of Girl” Danielle Scott Opens Up About Her Journey So Far

Growing up on Sydney’s northern beaches Danielle Scott always thought of herself as a summer sports girl. To this day she loves to hit the ocean for a surf or just muck around on her skateboard. This despite being a silver and bronze medallist in the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, dual Olympian and twice […]

Growing up on Sydney’s northern beaches Danielle Scott always thought of herself as a summer sports girl. To this day she loves to hit the ocean for a surf or just muck around on her skateboard. This despite being a silver and bronze medallist in the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, dual Olympian and twice finishing second in the World Cup. “I think I’ll always be a summer girl at heart,” says the easygoing 29-year-old. “If I have a choice to go to the snow or the beach, I’d definitely be choosing the beach.” In fact, Scott’s first love was gymnastics, which she began at the age of three and ‘retired’ from at 13 before getting into aerial skiing. Her eclectic athletic background is a testament to the importance of passion, perseverance and purpose. As she tells MH, you’ve got to “pursue what you love and if you don’t love it, then find what that is”.

CHANGING LANES

Scott began gymnastics at her local YMCA and was in an elite school program by five, training 25 hours a week. At seven she was offered a scholarship at the AIS, the youngest athlete ever to receive such an offer. She stayed in Sydney for educational reasons but by the time she hit her teens it had become clear her Olympic dream wasn’t going to work out. “Australia’s gymnastics program isn’t as strong as a lot of other countries’ and without that pool of girls to work with, my career fell apart,” she says. But her ambition to represent Australia remained undimmed and it wasn’t long before she was invited to try aerial skiing, despite never having skied before, by five-time winter Olympian Jacqui Cooper. Initially, Scott admits, she felt like a fish out of water. “I remember my coach helping me put the skis on and then I was just standing there thinking, ‘Wow, these things are slippery, how on earth am I going to do this?’”

MIX IT UP

Training for aerials means devoting serious time to your glutes, back and core. “That’s the powerhouse that can control us in the air and absorb the forces on landing,” Scott says. Think squats, deadlifts and hanging leg raises. Having changed sports Scott has a unique appreciation for cross training. “I love to take my mind off skiing and jumping on the water ramp to go mountain biking, get my skateboard out or go for a surf trip in between camps,” Scott says. “Just changing up the variety of muscle memory is really valuable.”

FALL AND RISE

Scott was looking forward to a big season on this year’s World Cup tour when she suffered an unlucky fall on a training site in Switzerland, resulting in a torn ACL. “I was literally just getting back up to the top of the jump site to begin training that day when I fell,” she recalls. “I knew straight away.” She returned home to undergo surgery and is currently throwing herself into rehab with hopes of returning to the World Cup next year, before targeting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The key to staying positive, she says, is to have a good support crew and stay busy. “I’m not one to ask for help, but it’s definitely nice just to know that those people are there when you’ve got to ice your leg 10 times a day,” she laughs. A marketer’s dream, Scott has partnerships with likes of Under Armour, GoPro, Tradie Underwear and Volkswagen that will keep her busy as she plots her comeback. “I love to work with my sponsors, just getting content or being active in the outdoors. Anything apart from skiing.”

HER KIND OF GUY

A girl like Scott needs someone who can keep up with her. If you’re the type of bloke who shuns outdoor activity, you’re going to have a hard time sustaining her interest. “Because I spend a lot of time in the outdoors, I hope he would want to as well,” she says. Fair enough. She also gives time-wasters short shrift, preferring someone “who’s not afraid to fall in love and invest their time in a relationship”. She’s been seeing her boyfriend, a carpenter she’s known since she was a teenager, for two years. “It’s pretty funny. I’ve known him since high school and here we are.”

HUNGER GAMES

As an athlete whose job involves flying through the air, Scott needs to eat to fuel her training while staying in aerodynamic shape. She prioritises fresh, raw vegetables and fruit along with plenty of protein. “We push our bodies to the extreme, which makes recovery so important,” she says. “We also need enough carbohydrate to have the energy to get back-to-back sessions in.” She eats more or less the same outside of training blocks, just in smaller quantities. “You just watch the quantities because excess weight doesn’t help us when we’re in the air.” At the same time, she likes her splurges heavy. “A laksa or a curry is a good cheat meal,” she says. “It’s quite heavy with all the coconut cream, but it’s so delicious.”

By Mens Health Staff

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