Tonight Aerial Skiing Champion Laura Peel was recognised at the 2020 Victorian Institute of Sport Awards for her commitment to pursuing success in sport and life. Peel won the Open Universities Australia Performance Lifestyle award in a strong field of athletes, with Para Rower Alexandra Viney and Tokyo-bound race walker Jemima Montag as the other finalists.
The OUA Performance Lifestyle Award was part of the Victorian Institute of Sport’s (VIS) online celebration, with the 2XU Coach Awards announced on Monday and the Sarah Tait Spirit Award rounding out the suite of awards this Wednesday.
The award goes to the athlete who has achieved excellence in their studies, career ambitions, and/or work setting whilst pursuing their dual sporting career. A panel of judges chose Peel as this year’s winner based on her impressive results both on but especially also off the slopes.
Although spending much of her life overseas Peel still managed to complete a Bachelor of Health Sciences and is now undertaking a Diploma of Modern Languages.
The dual Winter Olympian had an extraordinarily successful 2019-2010 winning two World Cup events which helped win the Crystal Globe for World Cup Overall Champion. She is also the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia 2020 Athlete of the Year.
Peel is a person who squeezes value out of every moment of her life. She is a role model for, and mentor of, young athletes. She also contributed to the AOC Wellbeing series, completed an online yoga program for people in lockdown and even donated her prized Olympic uniform to the bushfire appeal.
“I was a bit surprised to be nominated for this award but of course very honoured. The VIS is full of some of the most amazing athletes and amazing people, so to win this award is something that is very special to me,” Peel said.
“I have been at the VIS for almost a decade now and the VIS has been such an important part of my journey as an athlete but also as a person. Since day one they have always valued developing you on the field as well as off the field. It’s something that I started realising probably a little bit later in my career. I’m very grateful for the VIS for being there and for supporting me through that and I hope that soon we can all be together and celebrate.”
“A big thank you to the VIS and to the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia for continuing to support my journey. Thank you also to Open Universities Australia,” Peel said.
You can watch the full presentation below.
The 2020 Victorian Institute of Awards digital celebration is running over three days from 23 November-25 November, and was continued today with the Open Universities Australia Performance Lifestyle Award.
You can visit our VIS Awards Hub here for more information.