Olympics-Freestyle-Jacq is back and gunning for fifth time lucky

VANCOUVER Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:22pm EST

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VANCOUVER Feb 17 (Reuters) - For five-time Olympian Jacqui Cooper, her late arrival at these Games are about saving the best until last.

Cooper, the first aerial skier to win five overall World Cup titles, has been shutout in medalling for the past five Games. The often-injured skier's best showing came in 2006 at Turin, where she placed eighth.

The 37-year-old Australian said that her career would mean much more if she had an Olympic medal.

"Five world titles are enough. I'm hoping 10 days from now, Australian kids can look up to me as someone who never gave up on their dreams," said Cooper who only arrived in Vancouver on Day Three of the Games on Monday.

When asked about conditions at the weather-troubled Cypress Mountain, Cooper say she feels at home, and scoffs at suggestions that such conditions might hinder skiers from going for the big jumps.

"The landing is really slushy, which I love. It's go time. I don't care if there is a hurricane out there, I will do a triple twisting triple somersault."

The aerials veteran was one of the last members of the Australian team to arrive in Vancouver.

Plagued by numerous injuries and a late start in the season, Cooper chose to practise her jumps in Montreal the past three weeks.

"I wanted to get some momentum and consistency with my jumping, so I decided to spend the entire time out there.

"I'm exactly where my coaches and I expected to be. Jacq is back."

(Editing by Jon Bramley; To comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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