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The Will To Fly: Breaking sport gender stereotypes

"The Will To Fly" is an inspiring documentary about Olympic-champion aerial skier Lydia Lassila. The film explores her journey as an athlete and a mother, showcasing her resilience and determination.

Keywords: Olympic Games, aerial skiing, female athlete, motherhood, determination, resilience, sports documentary. Three words: Inspiring, Determined, Athletic.


"The Will To Fly" is a captivating sports documentary directed by Leo Baker and Katie Bender. Released in 2016, this film tells the extraordinary story of Lydia Lassila, an Olympic-champion aerial skier who returned to the sport as a young mother - and dares to reach for an almost impossible dream.


The film follows Lydia Lassila's journey from a young gymnast with dreams of the Olympics, through her transition to aerial skiing, her Olympic victories, and her return to the sport after becoming a mother. It explores her relentless pursuit of a new, nearly impossible trick and the physical and mental challenges she faces along the way.

More Film Analysis


The documentary is a deep dive into Lassila's life, showcasing her grit, determination and resilience. It offers a close look at the physical demands of aerial skiing, as well as the mental challenges of pursuing excellence in a high-risk sport. Lassila's journey is presented in an engaging narrative, with a focus on her personal struggle and triumphs.

Historical and Factual Context

Historical and Factual Context

Lydia Lassila is an Australian aerial skier who won a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. After becoming a mother, Lassila returned to the sport with the goal of performing a trick that no woman had ever done before.

Key themes in the film

  • Resilience in the face of adversity
  • Pursuit of excellence
  • Balancing family and career
  • Breaking gender stereotypes in sports

Film Comparisons

"The Will To Fly" can be compared to other sports documentaries like "Free Solo" and "Riding Giants". However, its focus on a female athlete's journey, and her balancing act between motherhood and a high-risk sports career, sets it apart.

Noteworthy Moments

Lydia's triumphant return to the sport after childbirth, and her relentless pursuit of the nearly impossible trick, are the most noteworthy moments in the documentary.


"The Will To Fly" was well-received by audiences and critics alike. It was lauded for its inspiring portrayal of a woman athlete's determination and resilience. The film has an IMDB score of 8.5 and has won 3 awards and received 1 nomination.


"The Will To Fly" is a must-watch for sports enthusiasts, and will be particularly inspiring for female athletes and young mothers. The documentary sets a powerful example of perseverance and breaking barriers.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 8.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: N/A
  • Metacritic score: N/A
  • Film festival awards: 3 wins & 1 nomination



  • Lydia Lassila: Olympic-champion aerial skier and the subject of the documentary.



  • Australia
  • Olympic venues

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • What does it take to be an elite athlete?
  • How can one balance family and a demanding career?
  • What are the physical and mental challenges of pursuing a nearly impossible goal?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, because of its themes of determination, perseverance and defying odds.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, which embodies the spirit of fighting to the top.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be Michelangelo's "David", a symbol of strength and human potential.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Serena Williams, known for her dominance in tennis and balancing her career with motherhood.
  5. If this film was a color, it would be gold, symbolising victory and excellence.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be rock, known for its energy and rebellious spirit.